‘Beautiful’ Budleigh pictures showcase East Devon’s diverse underwater world

PUBLISHED: 09:10 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:12 07 February 2018

Steve Pease has spent eight years of photographing marine wildlife in Budleigh and recently shared the stunning results. Individual pictures by Steve Pease.

Steve Pease has spent eight years of photographing marine wildlife in Budleigh and recently shared the stunning results. Individual pictures by Steve Pease.

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Steve Pease says the practice of underwater photography opens up a ‘new world’.

A series of stunning stills taken in East Devon waters depict the dramatic diversity of marine species just a stone’s throw from the shore.

Steve Pease has been photographing sea life in Budleigh for eight years and his hobby has revealed a curiously colourful underwater world, teeming with life.

A hermit crab. Picture by Steve Pease. A hermit crab. Picture by Steve Pease.

His pictures recently caused a social media sensation, gaining hundreds of reactions and more than 80 shares.

Devon Wildlife Trust has said his pictures illustrate how precious and delicate eco systems exist in our oceans just 50-100 metres from local shores – for which protection is vital.

A male corkwing wrasse. Picture by Steve Pease. A male corkwing wrasse. Picture by Steve Pease.

Steve said: “It opens up a completely different, new world – it’s just sheer beauty. You wouldn’t believe you are paddling near them.”

Among the intriguing rocky reef species snapped by Steve are pipefish, spider crabs, tompot blennies, cuttlefish, starfish and a corkwing wrasse.

A spiney spider crab. Picture by Steve Pease. A spiney spider crab. Picture by Steve Pease.

“One of my favourite fish is the he tompot blenny; they are brilliant, very inquisitive. If you don’t make a lot of noise they come out,” he added.

But Steve also emphasised the need to show respect for underwater habitats, which are ‘very fragile’ and hopes his pictures might raise awareness.

A sea anemone found in the mouth of the River Otter. Picture by Steve Pease. A sea anemone found in the mouth of the River Otter. Picture by Steve Pease.

He said: “It does make you more aware of things like litter – it’s always around, bags and bits of plastic.

“I read a saying once which I thought was great: ‘Take only pictures and leave only bubbles’.

A sea scorpion nestling among the Budleigh rocks. Picture by Steve Pease A sea scorpion nestling among the Budleigh rocks. Picture by Steve Pease

“If some pictures on Facebook can show people what amazing creatures are right on our doorstep and what we need to do to look after for future generations, that’s great!”

Devon Wildlife Trust’s marine education officer Coral Smith said: “Steve has shown beautifully just how diverse the sea around Devon is and how many different species live so close to home.

Steve holds a predatory starfish, found in East Devon waters. Picture by Steve Pease. Steve holds a predatory starfish, found in East Devon waters. Picture by Steve Pease.

“Exmouth and East Devon is home to a fantastic diversity of marine life. It’s imperative that we protect areas like this, both inshore and offshore.

“Further out to sea, the diversity of amazing wildlife continues, with dolphins, whales, seabirds and basking sharks.”

A colourful sea scorpion. Picture by Steve Pease. A colourful sea scorpion. Picture by Steve Pease.

An area offshore from Exmouth is vital for a population of white beaked dolphins, which forage and nurse their young there and Devon Wildlife Trust wants the Government to designate a Marine Conservation Zone to protect these marine megafauna. For more information or details on how you can support the trust’s campaign visit http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/devon-dolphins.

One of the curious organisms photographed by local amateur photographer and diver Steve Pease. One of the curious organisms photographed by local amateur photographer and diver Steve Pease.

Marine life enthusiast Steve Pease combines his love of photography and diving to picture the vast variety of species living in the shallow waters of Budleigh. Picture by Steve Pease. Marine life enthusiast Steve Pease combines his love of photography and diving to picture the vast variety of species living in the shallow waters of Budleigh. Picture by Steve Pease.

A cuttlefish swimming in local waters. Picture by Steve Pease. A cuttlefish swimming in local waters. Picture by Steve Pease.

A Pipefish among rocks in Budleigh waters. Picture by Steve Pease. A Pipefish among rocks in Budleigh waters. Picture by Steve Pease.

A colourful cuttlefish of the coast of Budleigh. Picture by Steve Pease. A colourful cuttlefish of the coast of Budleigh. Picture by Steve Pease.

Tub gurnard. Picture by Steve Pease. Tub gurnard. Picture by Steve Pease.

A sea snail, believed to be a cowrie. Picture by Steve Pease. A sea snail, believed to be a cowrie. Picture by Steve Pease.

Sea mouse. Picture by Steve Pease. Sea mouse. Picture by Steve Pease.

A pipefish pictured in Budleigh waters. Picture by Steve Pease. A pipefish pictured in Budleigh waters. Picture by Steve Pease.

Butter fish, or gunnel. Picture by Steve Pease. Butter fish, or gunnel. Picture by Steve Pease.

Steve's diving partner Rob, getting up close and personal to a cuttlefish. Picture by Steve Pease. Steve's diving partner Rob, getting up close and personal to a cuttlefish. Picture by Steve Pease.

Picture by Steve Pease. Picture by Steve Pease.

Spider crab. Picture by Steve Pease. Spider crab. Picture by Steve Pease.

Compass jellyfish. Picture by Steve Pease. Compass jellyfish. Picture by Steve Pease.

White beaked dolphins, which are found in an area offshore from Exmouth, where they forage and raise their young. White beaked dolphins, which are found in an area offshore from Exmouth, where they forage and raise their young.

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