The Hanging Gardens of Babbacombe

One of the 'Hanging gardens' of Babbacombe'
One of the ‘Hanging gardens’ of Babbacombe’

Ok, so there’s an odd historic start to his post, but I think quite an appropriate one. For some years Terry & I have been visiting a couple of old crab-pot ropes that have been snagged on the sea-bed and yet still have floats attached. This makes the ropes stand up from the sea-floor by a couple of metres and, as it turns out, this is the perfect habitat for a colony of Plumose Anemones.

Plumose anemones adorn the ‘Hanging gardens’ at Babbacombe

Despite the popularity of Babbacombe as a dive site, these pair of ropes are quite off the beaten track, and hard to locate unless you know where to look. In my humble opinion this has kept these sites is good order, as too many divers will undoubtedly have an effect on these fragile creatures.

Despite the infrequent disturbance by divers, the two current ropes have been there for a good number of years and are slowly ‘sinking’ with the weight of additional marine life and/or accumulated silt. Not wanting to loose this valuable part of Babbacombe’s unique habitat, a couple of local divers have decided to embark on a unique plan to add to the Hanging Gardens a couple of new opportunities for life to Colonise.

A new addition to the 'Hanging gardens' of Babbacombe
A new addition to the ‘Hanging gardens’ of Babbacombe

So far they have managed to ‘plant’ one additional rope (close to the original candidates in the hope of early colonisation) which is well below any chance of being snagged by passing boat traffic, and are hoping to add another to the Gardens fairly soon.

The eventual hope is that these new ropes will become populated with anemones, hydroids, ascidians, nudibranchs and crabs, as well as providing shelter to juvenile fish. This will take a few years (but perhaps not too long!) and I’ll be visiting these sites regularly to keep an eye on them :)

Part of the old 'Hanging gardens' of Babbacombe have now sunk
Part of the old ‘Hanging gardens’ of Babbacombe have now sunk