Finally, a little bit about some of the many exciting species that we make their habitats in or along the coastline that can sometimes cause problems in the wrong circumstances.
Weever fish are small fish, up to 14 centimetres long, that often reside in shallow warmer water where they hide just under the surface of the sand waiting to pounce on smaller fish or creatures passing by. It is nearly impossible to spot a weever fish but if you are unfortunate enough to step on one you will almost certainly know about it! It is highly likely to sting you with a thorny poisonous spine that it uses for protection against predators. Whilst the poison is not dangerous to most humans it is extremely painful and the pain can last 24 hours. The only way to prevent being stung by a weever fish is to wear beach shoes or wetsuit boots when walking in shallow water.
If you are unfortunate enough to get stung the best treatment is to submerge the affected area in hot water as quickly as possible for 60-90 minutes. The water should be as warm as can reasonably be tolerated, but be careful not to scald yourself! The hot water will help break down the poison and stimulate blood flow to the affected area accelerating natural healing. If problems persist or intensify, or a young or old person or one with underlying health problems has been stung, you should seek medical help.
Eight types of jellyfish can be found in UK waters, most of the jellyfish cause only mild stings but some are more severe and even in rare cases dangerous depending on the species that causes the sting.
A useful guide to the jellyfish found off the UK shores can be found here:
Mild jellyfish stings should be treated by rinsing the affected area with vinegar. If you have tweezers available you can try to carefully pluck the stingers out of the skin, however do not try and scrape them out as this is likely to acerbate the symptoms. Then if possible immerse the affected area in hot but not scalding water for 20-45 minutes.
Severe jellyfish stings are extremely rare but if you experience stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, headache, muscle cramp or spasms, weakness, drowsiness, fainting or confusion, difficulty breathing or heart problems following a jellyfish sting you should seek medical attention immediately.