Starfish species recorded at Kimmeridge for first time

Small cushion starfish (Photo: Julie Hatcher)

Small cushion starfish (Photo: Julie Hatcher)

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A SPECIES of starfish has been found on the seashore at Kimmeridge for the first time.

The small cushion starfish was found by a group of volunteers working at the Dorset Wildlife Trust.

It was found last week in one of the rockpools during a seashore exploration on one of the lowest tides of the year.

Julie Hatcher, marine awareness officer, said: “This delicate cushion star is normally found along the west coast of Britain or further south in Portugal and the Mediterranean.

“It has never been recorded this far east in the UK but may become more common here as a result of climate change.”

Volunteers who made the discovery were taking part in a PANACHE project activity.

Last year a furrowed crab carrying eggs was discovered at Kimmeridge for the first time.

More species are expected to move in as climate change affects their distribution.

Ms Hatcher added: “PANACHE is about discovering what lives on the seashore and keeping an eye on it, letting us know about the changes and flagging up any problems the wildlife might be facing.

“People along both sides of the Channel are taking part and sharing their experiences.

“It’s an exciting time in marine conservation and this is a way anyone can be actively involved."

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