Ireland’s seashores are famous for their spectacular beauty, ranging from exposed rocky headlands that receive the full power of the Atlantic to enclosed sea loughs and sheltered mudflats. Our northern latitude means that some Arctic species find a home here, but the warm currents that flow up from the Gulf of Mexico also make Irish shores habitable for species found in southern Europe, the Canaries and the Mediterranean. Providing habitats like no other, our coasts are teeming with plant and animal life. Whether you visit on a sunny summer day or for a wild walk in winter, there is always something interesting to see, either living on the shore or washed up from the sea.
Beginning with clear background information on types of shore, tides, waves, coastal habitats and conservation, this highly accessible guide has everything you need to understand the wildlife on our coastline. A helpful identification guide uses simple questions (e.g. ‘Does it have a shell?’) to guide you to the correct section (e.g. ‘Snails, mussels and their relatives’), where you will find an introduction to the species, followed by detailed entries on the most common shoreline inhabitants: Irish and Latin names, size, distribution and memorable nuggets of information (did you know banded wedge shells can leap if disturbed?).
Written by qualified marine biologists with a passion for their subject, this is the ideal companion on any seashore ramble, whether you are a beginner or an experienced naturalist.
Lucy Taylor, from Dublin, spent her childhood beside the sea in Ireland and Cape Town, and has always loved to be near the coast. She holds a degree in English and worked as a teacher and writer before delving into a long-held passion for all things oceanic with an MSc in Marine Biology. She works as a research project manager in University College Cork.
Emma Nickelsen grew up between Ireland and Denmark, and has always felt a deep connection with the sea, spending much of her childhood amongst the rock pools. She holds a BSc in Environmental Biology from University College Dublin and an MSc in Marine Biology from University College Cork. She works as an ecologist in Cork.