Rockpool Explorers

Rockpool Explorers

Come and join us on a rockpooling adventure right here at Wembury Beach!

Rockpool Safari

Wembury Marine Centre offers guided Rockpool Safari sessions to schools, colleges & other educational groups of all ages. In addition, other groups can book a private rockpooling session with us.

Rockpool Explorers can take part in a mini-survey of the rockpool plants and animals, searching for our rocky shore 'Big Five', points are awarded for these species and other finds and the team with the highest score wins! Rocky shore transect and quadrat work can also be delivered to older students.

The Seashore Code is at the heart of our Rockpool Explorer sessions and the emphasis focuses on taking ownership and looking after our local environment.

Our guided rockpooling sessions are delivered by a Devon Wildlife Trust staff member based at Wembury Marine Centre and are supported by our team of volunteers. Devon Wildlife Trust has full public liability and employer’s liability insurance for all our activities at Wembury beach, our staff are qualified First Aiders and hold an enhanced DBS check.

We can accommodate more than one rockpooling session on the same day (dependent on tide times) which allows whole year groups to be brought to the beach on the same day for a school trip. 

Rockpooling sessions can be booked year-round but do require a suitable low tide which can limit availability so please Contact Us well in advance to make a booking.

For further information please see the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page or Book Now

Thank you so much for bringing our topics to life, our rockpooling sessions were fantastic and the whole day was excellent and the children got a lot out of it, the staff and volunteers were friendly and helpful - we had a fabulous time!

Primary school, Plymouth
South West Water logo

If your group books a guided Rockpool Explorers session at Wembury beach then we can normally offer a free previsit classroom talk thanks to funding from South West Water. Please Contact Us to discuss in more detail. 

Frequently Asked Questions about rockpooling with an educational or private group:

What are the costs for a guided rockpooling session for groups?

Our standard guided rockpooling session charge is £3 per pupil, a deposit is not normally required. There is no charge for accompanying adults.

Payment is not required in advance. Devon Wildlife Trust will invoice your school soon after the visit. Please note we charge per pupil for our guided rockpooling service; please inform us on the day of your beach visit if the number of pupils has changed since your initial booking.

Additional activities can be booked for the same day and additional charges will apply, there is normally a discount for booking multiple activities on the same day.

A minimum charge will apply if your group has fewer than 10 pupils. 



Is there a maximum / minimum group size?

The maximum number of pupils we can accommodate in one rockpooling session is ~30, many more than this and we would suggest splitting the group into two groups and running two rockpooling sessions in the same day.

We can normally offer 3 x 1 hour rockpooling sessions in the same day allowing you to bring a group of 90-100 pupils to the beach on the same day. A booking of this size would be dependent on suitable tide times and availability may be limited. 

There is no minimum number of pupils but there is a minimum charge for a booking which is the equivalent of 10 pupils.

Who will run our rockpooling sessions?

Rockpooling sessions are delivered by a member of Devon Wildlife Trust staff based at Wembury Marine Centre and supported by Wembury Marine Centre's team of volunteers. 

Volunteers regularly assist us with our school visits to Wembury beach, our part time volunteers are all registered with Devon Wildlife Trust and we have taken references, however they are not DBS checked and are not first aiders. Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and are a range of ages, we support younger school aged volunteers and work experience students plus on occasion support volunteers with special needs.

At the start of your session we will always introduce everyone helping and make it clear who the volunteers are. Please direct any questions regarding your visit to the members of staff present on the day rather than the volunteers who may not be able to help you.

What clothing and footwear is most suitable for our beach visit?

Please ensure that students come prepared for the weather; enough layers in cold weather, waterproofs in wet conditions and sun hat and cream in the summer.

Please also ensure that pupils are wearing footwear that can get wet for the rockpooling sessions – wellington boots are highly recommended and open toed / backed shoes or shoes with a heel are not suitable.

Please also encourage all the adults accompanying you to wear suitable rockpooling footwear that can get wet too, this will ensure all of your pupils are fully supported during the rockpooling session.

Do we need to bring buckets and nets for our guided rockpooling session?

Wembury Marine Centre will provide buckets for the rockpooling session and clip boards and pens for recording your finds. 

Please don't bring fishing nets, all of our sessions are delivered with the Seashore Code as best practice and nets are damaging to rockpool plants and animals.

Please see other FAQs regarding suitable clothing for rockpooling sessions. 

How long will our rockpooling session last?

Rockpooling sessions last for one hour, this includes a safety briefing and Seashore Code explainer at the start and a wrap-up summary session at the end. 

We've booked multiple rockpooling sessions, what will the pupils who are not rockpooling do?

For our staff and volunteer logistics, it is not possible for us to offer activities at the same time as we are running guided rockpooling sessions.

Your group leader will need to provide activities for the groups who are not rockpooling. Wembury Marine Centre does have some beach scavenger cards available for groups to borrow.

Groups can book in advance to visit St Werburgh's Church, just up the hill from the beach and there are coastpath explorer resources for coastal walks and trails available from the South West Coast Path Association


How many adults do I need to bring for the rockpooling sessions?

We require the visiting group leader to bring as many helpers as necessary to fulfill the relevant adult to pupil ratio. We follow Devon County Council’s guidelines for adult to child ratios in the outdoors doing fieldwork activities.  That is 1 adult: 6 children for under 8 year olds and 1: 15 for over 8 year olds.

There is no charge for accompanying adults.

Will you provide First Aid support?

All Devon Wildlife Trust staff members are First Aid trained.  It is however the school’s responsibility to ensure that one of the visiting staff is a qualified First Aider with a first aid kit.  It is that member of visiting staff who administers any first aid.  Smaller sub-divided groups must be accompanied by an adult at the required ratio. If this adult is not a qualified first aider then the group must remain within close proximity of one.

Devon Wildlife Trust staff will also always carry a full first aid kit when leading group visits. We complete accident reports for all accidents requiring first aid treatment. Our staff are unable to give out or administer any medicines, creams or sprays.  For bites, stings or sprains we are only able to provide cold water to relieve symptoms.

If you are unable to supply a qualified First Aider please contact us to discuss other arrangements. If you arrive on a visit without a qualified First Aider and have not informed us prior to the visit your visit maybe be cancelled and full charges will apply.

What is your cancellation policy for school visits to the beach?

If less than 2 weeks’ notice is given we reserve the right to charge 100% of the visit cost unless we fill the date with another booking. If the group wants to cancel on the day due to severe weather they must inform us that morning otherwise there will be an admin charge of £20.  If the group has to cancel on the day for any other reason again they must inform us that morning and they will have to be charged.

We will cancel any outdoor sessions in the event of a Red or an Amber weather warning issued by the Met Office, in which case there will be no charge and we will reschedule the visit where possible.

Do you have a risk assesment for rockpooling?

All activities that Devon Wildlife Trust run at Wembury Marine Centre are fully risk assessed and are run by skilled and experienced environmental educators.

Our risk assessment for rockpooling will be made available to all groups making a booking with Wembury Marine Centre.

We have students with additional or medical needs in our group

Please share in advance any relevant details regarding students with special needs, we can then ensure the rockpooling sessions are as inclusive as possible. We may be able to increase the number of volunteers in a session if you have a student who requires more one to one support. Please get in touch in advance and together we can work out the best way to support you and your pupils.

It is the visiting group leader’s responsibility to care for any pupils with medical conditions / allergies and to ensure these individuals are carrying any relevant medicines (e.g. asthma inhalers).

Do you have coach parking facilities?

Wembury Marine Centre has a coach park facility with space for three 56-seater coaches. All schools booked to work with the Centre and Devon Wildlife Trust staff are able to use the coach park and there is no additional charge. Staff will meet you on the road in the morning so please confirm your arrival time in advance.

Please note schools wishing to use this facility but not booking to work with our staff will be charged £10 per coach.

Where can we leave our bags?

We recommend keeping your bags on the beach near the pupils, that way you have their change of clothing and footwear to hand and also their food and drink for the day. You may like to bring a groundsheet or tarpaulin with you to cover the bags in case of rain. There is very limited space in Wembury Marine Centre so we are not able to offer bag storage facilities.

Do you offer indoor alternative activities in the event of wet weather?

Rockpooling sessions will still go ahead in wet weather, please ensure your pupils are appropriately dressed and have suitable footwear for rockpooling - wellington boots are recommended. 

Wembury Marine Centre has limited indoor space which is available to visiting school groups but may not safely accommodate all your pupils in the event of bad weather.

We will cancel any outdoor sessions in the event of a Red or an Amber weather warning issued by the Met Office, in which case there will be no charge and we will reschedule the visit where possible.

cushion star

Photo credit, Paul Naylor