The rocky stacks of Bawden Rocks (also known as ”Cow and Calf” or “Man and his Man”) form a centrepoint of the VMCA about a mile north of St.Agnes Head. The big rock reaches about 80 feet high above the high water mark and rises vertically, like the side of a house, from the seabed about 27m below. The smaller rock is surrounded by water about 18m deep and is often covered by spray in heavy seas whilst even the larger rock is covered in big storms. The tide surges past the rock all day, except for small periods of slack water when the tides change direction, and this is further enhanced by a rocky reef (up to about 10m high in places) which runs away northwest from the rock. This reef creates turbulence and mixing of the water with boils and eddies visible at the surface when the tide is at it’s strongest. This high tidal flow brings a constant supply of nutrients and plankton with it which produces an amazing underwater spectacle with every inch of rock surface covered in anemones, mussels and other marine life. Pink seafans, a protected and Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species are found in profusion here and some survey work we did on them in recent years has shown them to be in generally very good health. Crustacean life is prolific as are the fish which is why this is the top fishing ground for the local fishermen. The rocks are also a main nesting ground for seabirds with good numbers of razorbill and shag, a few guillemots and some great black backed gulls. Puffins have bred at Bawden and seem to be just clinging on with occasional birds seen by those lucky enough to be out in boats at the rock.
We have done many seasearches surveys around Bawden Rocks over the years and allied with fishing records have built up a good record of species to be found there.
This available to downlod here.