It didn’t matter that it rained (again!) for the annual and hugely popular ‘Under the Pier’ event in Ryde led by the team at Arc and Artecology. A steady stream of folks armed with nets and buckets set off in pursuit of the ebbing tide to explore the marine wildlife wonders that live under and on Ryde Pier.
iWatch Wildlife volunteers were out on the sands helping ID species and at beach basecamp welcoming participants and keeping track of species observed during the event. Though our chalkboards were awash with rain, a respectable 40 species were clocked up on the day, and after expert verification following the event, the total has now risen to the best tally yet of 67 species (63 species in 2016).
New records for the event included a Compass Jellyfish – Chrysaora hysoscella, 2 species of pipefish – Broad-nosed Pipefish – Sygnathus typhle and Worm Pipefish – Nerophis lumbriciformis plus 2 species of anemone Sagartia troglodytes and Sagartia ornata kindly identified by marine experts at the University of Bournemouth.
This year, species from 12 different groups were recorded with Molluscs top of the list, followed by Birds, then Algae.
Thanks to iWatch Volunteers Roger Herbert and Vidya Wolton and to Alice Hall for sharing their marine biology expertise and of course to Arc and Artecology for having us – looking forward already to UTP 2018!
If you’d like to be involved with this event next year, or find out more about volunteering on the project, please do contact iWatchWildlife@gmail.com. Visit the Under the Pier Gallery for pictures from this year, and previous years.