• The Making of a Contemporary Mermaid

The Making of a Contemporary Mermaid – walk on the beach

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Images of typical Blackpool shells:

Common cockle (Fan-shaped shell with radiating ribs up to 5cm across. Widely distributed in estuaries and sandy bays – up to 10,000 per m²):
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Common Oyster (Oval or pear-shaped shell up to 11cm across. The two halves of shell are very different – one smooth and flat, the other rough and concave. Widely distributed but less common on east coast):
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Mussel (Purple or blue shell, 5-10cm long when adult. Very common on all coasts on intertidal rocks):
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Tower shell:
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Common whelk (Yellow-brown spiralling shell up to 10cm high and 6cm wide. Very common. Mobile, the common whelk preys on small bivalves):
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Dog whelk (Spired, up to 6cm long, in cream, yellow or grey. Common on all rocky coasts where it feeds on mussels and barnacles):

Auger shell (or Terebridae, or Auger snail) Tall, spindly cone up to 3cm long. Common anywhere with muddy sediments except for the south-east coast of England):

Common Razor clam (Unmistakable slender shell up to 25cm long – very common on sandy bays and estuaries. Often washed up in vast numbers after storms):

Flat periwinkle (Small, vari-coloured whorled shell up to 1.5cm – from olive-green to brown, red and yellow. Common wherever kelp occurs):

Grey top shell (Small whorled shell, 1.7cm across. Grey or light-yellow with brown or purple streaks. Common on all coasts):

Necklace shell (A smooth, golden-brown whorled seashell up to 3cm high. Common on sandy shores):

Painted top shell (Conical violet/pink and brown streaked shell, up to 3cm high. Very common on seaweed-covered rocky shores):

Thin tellin (Brittle, flattened shell up to 3cm long in shades of pink and yellow. Common on sandy shores):

Baltic tellin (Plump, almost circular shell, 2.5cm in length. Can be pink, yellow, purple and white. Common in estuaries except in the south)

Common limpet (Familiar conical shell in grey or white with radiating ridges up to 6cm high. Found on rocky shores)

Common periwinkle (Black or grey conical shell up to 5cm in height. Found everywhere, particularly rocky coasts)

Common piddock (Large, brittle shell up to 12cm long with ridges and radiating lines. Dull-white or grey in colour. Largely found on southern shores)

Banded wedge shell (Wedge-shaped shell up to 4cm long in shiny white, yellow-purple or brown. Common on all coasts)

Slipper limpet

Common Whelk egg cases


Sea Potato

Pink sea fan skeleton

Mermaid’s purse

Common starfish


Beadlet anemone

Snakelocks anemone


Kelp holdfast

Common shore crab

Horn wrack

Velvet Horn

Thong weed

Red Rags

Sugar kelp


Serrated wrack

Spiral wrack

Knotted wrack

Bladder wrack

Seaweeds of Britain

beach uk

Marine Conservation Society