April OMM

Report on April Open Meeting: Talk by Bude Marine Group

Living in Bude can be tough if you are a tiny sea creature trying to live on one of Bude’s ‘surf-savaged beaches’. How do you survive? By clinging on, by toughing it out, or by going with the flow? This was the background to Alison Wood’s talk at the April Monthly Meeting of Bude & District U3A, held at the Parkhouse Centre last Thursday.

Alison and her colleague, Adrian Deane Daniels, from the Bude Marine Group, gave an illustrated account of life on the edge of the surf to the well-attended meeting, which also included the annual Plant Sale organized by the u3a Gardening Group.

But first, Chair, Tina Hyndman, read the notices, and Beth Moore spoke on behalf of the u3a Drama Group. A performance by the Drama Group will be the focus of the June Monthly Meeting which will take place in the Bude Methodist Church Sunday School Hall on June 15th.

For now, however, the focus was very much on the outdoors. We know how rough and changeable the sea can be here but, said Alison, the temperature of the sea also varies greatly from feeling like a warm bath in a sea pool in summer to close to freezing in the winter. Marine creatures have to develop strategies for survival. Varieties of seaweed live along the shoreline. Some, like Spiralwrack, attach to something hard and then cling on. Others, like Bladderwrack, can be seen mid-shore in more sheltered spots. You might even spot the lovely pink Coral Weed in a Bude rock pool, or some Irish Moss with its iridescent blue tips.

You will also probably see limpets, flat periwinkles, barnacles and muscles, said Alison, while images of all the creatures described appeared on the large screen for all to admire. Honeycombe Worm reefs are a special feature around the area it seems. Look out too for the grey Celtic Sea Slug, anemones, crabs and starfish.

The Marine Group have found that Bude Sea Pool is itself like a large rock pool, providing a sheltered environment for plant and animal life. When the Pool is drained the Marine Group takes the opportunity to explore and have found the Celtic Sea Slugs, anemones, sea lettuce, Sponges and starfish, for example.

There were tips too from Alison on safe rock pooling. Go out with the falling tide and always be aware of what the sea is doing behind you, she suggested.

The sea also features in the talk at the next u3a Open Monthly Meeting on May 18th when Paul Rutherford from the RNLI will be speaking about the marine rescue service, its operations, training, and including some real-life rescue stories. That meeting, like the one in June, will be at the Bude Methodist Church Sunday School Hall.