Notes on some of the plants and animals on Weston Shore

The shore is a rich habitat and the Friends of Weston Shore are learning more about the natural treasures to be found here! Click on the photos for a closer look.

Sea purslane

This is a distinctive looking plant. It is a low lying greenish-grey shrubgrowing in discrete patches on the shore. It is an evergreen and flowers between July and September. It is also a habitat for numerous insects including the Lesser Marsh Grasshopper and coneheads. It can be found in most of Europe, western Asia and parts of Africa.Sea PurslaneGutweed

Distinctive for it’s bright green colour, gutweed blooms during the summer months and can be found on the shoreline. There are several similar types. It is often seen with bubbles of air trapped inside its long fronds which have the look of intestines, hence its name. It is a summer annual so will decay and form masses of bleached fronds towards the end of the season.

Gutweed Bladderwrack

This is the most common types of seaweed found on our shores and get the name for the pairs of air bladders which float its fronds towards the light. A strong plant, it grows rapidly.

The seaweed is a habitat for the Seaweed Fly, any of several species, and these flies are food for some of the birds on the shore. Small insects called sandhoppers can also be found. The seaweed on the shore is an important habitat for many species.

BladderwrackCommon (or Green) Shore Crab

This crab, often found on the shore, is native to the British Isles but has now spread to many other places around the world. It sheds its shell at various stages in its life cycle and so the shells that are found are normally the discarded ones. It feeds on a variety of molluscs, worms and small crustaceans.

crabPurple (or Flat) Top Shell

This mollusc found on Weston Shore is part of a large group of colourful seashells. The inside lip of the shell has a mother of pearl effect of multiple colours. They graze on algae on the shore.

IMG_6512The Friends of Weston Shore are looking forward to being involved in more field studies at the shore to learn more about the plants and animals to be found there.  If you would like to know more about the Friends of Weston Shore, please contact us at


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