4.5 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

If I have a choice then I would rather spend time at the coast, walking over dunes, sitting having an ice cream or even bodyboarding. I like to go all times of the year, from the blistering hot days that we occasionally get in the summer to the windswept winter beaches where there is almost no one there.

One of the activities that we have done for the past decade, in particular at one of my favourite places, the beautiful harbour of West bay, is to go crabbing. Some of days we have caught loads, and there have been other days when we got a few pieces of seaweed. As disappointing as that is it is still good fun. When we are in Jersey we try to head out to the east coast to see what we can find in the rock pools.

Rock Pools are Heather Buttivant’s passion, so much so that she has made a career from it. Down in the beautiful county of Cornwall she takes people out on to the tidal zone to see what they can discover lurking just out of sight. The book is split into three sections, which are the upper, middle and lower intertidal zones, or as she headlines it, Life at the Extreme, Rock Pool Specialists and Gateway to the deep. In each of these sections she describes the type of animals such as the Shanny, the Dog whelk or the Squat Lobster, that you could come across if you are prepared to get a little wet when searching for them.

Understanding a sea squirt as an animal is far more challenging. It stretches the imagination beyond its twanging point.

If you are expecting a guide book for things that you might find in rock pools, this is not the best book for that. Join her as she alternately freezes and bakes in the sun exploring the rock pools that are close to her Cornish home without having to get wet and cold.  As well as spending time introducing you to the weird, wacky and seriously strange creatures you could come across whilst rootling about in a rock pool, there is a little of her life story too. No so much to distract us from her obsession, but enough to help you understand why she is doing this today. This is a joy to read as her enthusiasm is evident on every single page and you are a lover of the things in the sea then this is definitely a worthy addition to your natural history shelves.

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