Sandsend Strandline


Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Thursday, 17th May, 2007, North Yorkshire

bladder wrack
Bladder Wrack
Fucus vesiculosus

OUR COTTAGE is just 5 minutes walk from the beach and its conservatory makes a good studio for drawing some of the seaweeds and shells that I picked up on the strandline as I walked back from Whitby yesterday.

Being indoors, I don’t want to splash about with dip pen and Indian ink so these were drawn in Stædtler Mars professional fibre tip pens, the dried seaweed with the thicker, more flowing, 0.7 mm nib, the others with the finer 0.35 or 0.18 which allow for finer detail.

As usual the watercolour is Winsor and Newton.

Flustra foliacea

Hornwrack might look like a type of seaweed but it is in fact a colonial animal, a bryozoan, which lives attached to the seabed in shallow water below low tide level but often gets washed up. The Collins Pocket Guide to the Sea Shore points out that live specimens have a lemon odour.cells of hornwrack

With a hand lens and you can see the individual cells that the creatures lived in. The name Bryozoan means ‘moss-animal’; the living colonies resemblance mossy growths.

Dried seaweed -
Channelled Wrack?

razor shell
Razor Shell
Ensis sp.

The razor shell lives in a vertical burrow on sandy shores. It has to put out a siphon to feed and breath but it can withdraw rapidly into its burrow when disturbed.