I am so totally done with this year’s weather it’s driven me to whinge in writing! ‘Bad’ weather doesn’t usually stop me getting outdoors but frankly winter had better do one soon or I may shrivel away in a disgusted heap of despair, depression and vitamin D deficiency. Even the glorious sunshine that heralded Easter Sunday lasted a mere half hour before the wind, rain and yes, more sleet, sent us huddling back under cover. Deep sigh.

Easter Eggs

The thoughtful Easter bunny had arrived early so we made the most of the brief sun for a barefoot garden egg raid. The bunny had left a bucket of sunshine to cheer us up – if the freezing weather doesn’t do for it first.

Image of cream bucket standing on grass with yellow daffodils and primroses growing in
A bucket of sunshine!

Wooden Birds Eggs

Actually the Easter bunny left a rather wonderful gift in addition to chocolate; this set of 10 hand-painted wooden birds eggs (displayed by Caroline in the homemade nest!) Nice work Easter bunny, must find out where you shop. Perfect for nature-loving wild kids.Image of terracotta bowl with straw nest and different sized and coloured wooden birds eggs inside

Sharks Eggs!

After a few hours of dire rain the sky cleared and we dashed to the beach with Caroline’s partner in adventure crime for a hot soup picnic (in the camper due to yet more sleet) and awaited a dry spell to go adventuring. We were spotting shark eggcases as part of The Shark Trust’s #GreatEasterEggcaseHunt, which you can do all year round not just at Easter.

Image of two girls in blue and red clothes with backs to camera walking on piles of seaweed on beach looking into seaweed with sea and dunes behind

Image of girl in blue coat handing piece of black seaweed to girl in red coat, standing on seaweed with sea behind

Where to Search for Shark Eggcases

For once The Beast from the East was in our favour, having created huge piles of seaweed on the strandline during the giant storms. Ideal for hunting eggcases which often get caught in seaweed once the eggs have hatched.

What is a Mermaid’s Purse

Empty shark, skate and ray egg cases wash up on the beach to be spotted by beachcombers as ‘Mermaid’s Purses,’ a romantic name for a cool piece of beach treasure.

Image of dark leather-like pouch camouflaged in pile of dark seaweed on sand
Small-spotted Catshark eggcase (Mermaid’s Purse!) camouflaged in seaweed

They provide a great indication of the creatures’ breeding nurseries, helping marine charities identify areas for conservation.

Record Eggcase Sightings

The Shark Trust run the Great Easter Eggcase Hunt with Save our Seas and ask that all sightings are recorded to further their research. You can add your sightings and upload photos at Record Your Sightings.

Download their brilliant Eggcase Identification Guide to be sure which species you’ve spotted. They’ll also ID them for you via email.

Fascinating Facts

  • There are over 600 species of shark worldwide
  • Each eggcase (or Mermaid’s Purse) contain just one embryo
  • The UK is home to some 30 species of shark
  • The most commonly found UK shark eggcases are from the Small-spotted Catshark and the Nursehound

Useful Links

For more family ideas and things to do at the beach with kids see Beach and Ocean and Jumping Jellyfish

 

Search Kids of the Wild website for more outdoor family ideas in the school holidays

To record other nature sightings and participate in citizen science read Outdoor Family Nature Spotting and Citizen Science Surveys.

Learn about the work of The Shark Trust

Find out about Save our Seas

Happy Easter Holidays

Image of cross made of shells in sand with the words happy easter written in sand

And finally, HAPPY EASTER HOLIDAYS. See what you can spot if you’re at the beach and if not, get inspired with ideas to get your family and kids outdoors by searching the Kids of the Wild website.