The Bell Rock may not be a suitable
habitat for man, but as can be seen from the photographs
below, Nature provides an abundance of life in every conceivable
form and colour.
Over the centuries this sunken reef has
probably accounted for more shipwrecks than any other
hazard off the coast of the British Isles. Who knows what
may still lie in its crevices, and at the foot of its
crags . . . everything perhaps from a "needle to
For the photographs below I am indebted to Jim Anderson,
of the West
Lothian Sub Aqua Club, to whom © Copyright
BELL ROCK KELP FOREST - Kelps are members
of the family of brown seaweeds, found from the bottom
of the shore down to a depth of 20 metres. There are three
common species of kelp around the UK, the most dominant
of which makes up most of the kelp forest (Laminaria
hyperborea). It only grows below the low-water mark.
STARFISH - (Crossaster papposus).
A starfish with many arms, usually 13 but occasionally
from 8-14. Colour is variable from dirty brown through
dirty purple to a beautiful red form with concentric rings
of white. The texture is very spiny with large groups
of bristly spines over the dorsal surface. Typically 25cm
up to 35cm diameter.
Who needs to go to the Great Barrier Reef
when such a wonderful display lies on our own Scottish
Shoals of POLLACK (Pollachius pollachius)
abound in the waters surrounding the Bell Rock reef. It
is common over areas of rough ground, reefs and sunken
wrecks. Can reach an average weight of 5.5 kg or over
The GOLDSINNY or SALMON WRASSE (Ctenolabrus
rupestri) not altogether happy at being photographed.
It is easily recognisable by the dark spot just before
the tail fin. Does not grow much larger than 15 cms.
An overhang of rock showing the abundant
seaweeds and flora/fauna
attached to the reef
SEA ANEMONE - Urticina eques. Not
as common as its close relative, Urticina felina
(Dahlia Anemone), but often grows larger, reaching sizes
of up to 25 cms across the base. Colour usually brighter
and paler than Urticina felina, usually in shades
of red, orange or yellowish buff, occasionally with blue-grey
disc. It can be found on all British and Irish coasts
except in the English Channel; also in northwest Europe.