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Sometimes the most extraordinary nature stories and scientific revelations lie in plain sight. So familiar that unique stories of survival are overlooked. This is an eye-opening, enchanting journey into the miniature worlds of rock pools with a new author who will change the way you view even the most ordinary creatures – from crabs to barnacles, blennies to anemones – forever.
Since childhood Heather Buttivant has been drawn to the shoreline. Pulled by the lure of transient worlds and mysterious creatures to the rock pools and tidal spaces of Britain's rocky coastlines. As an adult she left Cornwall to work in the Environmental sector, but felt marooned in the airless offices of London, and found herself yearning for the coastline again. This is the story of a women who couldn't leave the sea, turning a childhood fascination into a career and a calling. A writer and scientist who has spent decades with her hands immersed in freezing water, waiting and observing, uncovering the extraordinary secrets of the small creatures who survive in the shifting sands and draining pools between the tides. Focusing on a single creature per chapter, Buttivant uses the retreating tides as a way to take us deeper into her own story, as well as the secrets of the sea.
Previously working in the Environmental fields at Friends of the Earth and in the Civil Service, Heather Buttivant moved back to Looe, Cornwall to raise her son in 2011. She is now a blogger, writer, educationalist and environmental researcher. This is her first book.
"A book of wonder and curiosity that shines a light into the strange, fascinating and sometimes gruesome world of the rock pool [...] immensely interesting."
– Christopher Nicholson, author of Among the Summer Snows and The Elephant Keeper
"Buttivant's passion and expertise shine from the pages of this beautiful book to reveal the secret stories of the creatures that inhabit the wonderful marine ponds which twice daily grace our shores. An excellent companion for camera and bucket."
– Tony Juniper CBE, environmentalist and writer
"Heather Buttivant writes with an eloquence that I could not achieve about the 'magic' of seashores and the excitement and passion they create. The text is authoritative and accurate – you can learn much that will fascinate, inform and will inspire you to follow in her footsteps."
– Keith Hiscock, author of Exploring Britain's Hidden World: A Natural History of Seabed Habitats
"Step into the entrancing world of the Rock Pool as the author introduces us to her characterful seashore companions. Beautifully written descriptions bring the experience alive; you can almost feel the sun on your face and taste the salt air. Storytelling at its best!"
– Julie Hatcher, author of The Essential Guide to Rockpooling, The Essential Guide to Beachcombing and the Strandline, and In the Company of Seahorses
"An eye-opening journey to meet the animal inhabitants of our shores [...] wonderful characters with stories to tell and challenges to overcome."
– Paul Naylor, marine biologist and photographer
"Her passion for life in the rock pools shines through in this rallying cry for the importance of marine conservation."
– The Countryman