On Friday afternoon, the rain cleared and the sun even put in a brief appearance. Portsmouth Home Ed Group braved the changeable conditions for another visit to Milton Locks. The children in this group range in age from 3 years old to 13 years old (or 33 years old if you count me). We took advantage of the high tide to use plankton nets and make and sail some mini driftwood boats. We also made some interesting beachcombing finds. Some of our spots were surprisingly jumpy!
Sand hoppers are tiny crustaceans that live under seaweed and other debris on the strandline. They are very active when they are uncovered and one of the children remarked ‘It looks like they’re having a party’. We managed to catch some in a bug pot for a closer look before releasing them back into their habitat.
Not all of our finds were entirely natural. This mysterious object is a DIY style tape measure with seaweed growing on it. We were wondering what journey it had been on to get to Milton’s hidden seashore.
This little object is often called a mermaids purse. It is in fact the egg case of a small shark called a Small Spotted Catshark. Confusingly, the same species used to be called a lesser spotted dogfish. I can confirm, however, that it is definitely a shark rather than a cat or a dog.
We had a wonderful afternoon in between the showers with lots of fun and learning taking place.