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On 30th September, the YNU Conchological Section and Marine and Coastal Section organised a very enjoyable field meeting at Reighton Sands in Filey Bay.  The group recorded 20 species of terrestrial molluscs on the cliffs above the bay, and 57 species of marine molluscs, including a live specimen of the long-lived bivalve ocean quahog (Arctica islandica).  Exploration of the rocky outcrops and rock pools at the eastern end of the bay below Speeton Cliffs yielded records of other marine flora and fauna such as elegant anemones (Sagartia elegans) and oaten pipe hydroids (Tubularia indivisa).

An interesting feature of the bay is an artificial reef created by boilers of a shipwreck.  We believe this is the wreck of the Laura, a 2089 ton steamer built in 1880 in Newcastle and owned by a Trieste company.  She ran ashore in Filey Bay due to fog on 21st November 1897.  Tugs tried to rescue her but they couldn’t manage it and 3 days later the ship broke in half and was written off. There was no loss of life.  Further information can be found here.  The boilers are thickly encrusted with marine life, particularly barnacles, limpets, beadlet anemones and green and brown seaweeds.

Photos clockwise from top left: an ocean quahog (Arctica islandica); investigating the boilers from the wreck of the Laura; digging for burrowing bivalves; a necklace shell (Lunatia catena), commonly found on the strandline at Reighton Sands.

Further photos from the day can be found here.

Details of the next joint field meeting of the Conchological and Marine and Coastal Sections can be found here.