Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

Ancient Stories of Foraging in Mounts Bay, Cornwall

In 2021 I was approached by community artist Emma Smith who was commissioned by Cornwall council to create artworks for the new footpath and cycle path connecting Penzance and Marazion.

The project was named: Gwelen.

Inspired by the submerged forest that existed in Mounts Bay thousands of years ago, she invited me to talk about the edible and medicinal plants that would have existed in the forest, as well as seaweeds currently growing in the bay. As part of the project I led several foraging walks in the area for general public living in the area, as well as with specific groups such as young parents attending the WILD Project.

As part of this project I also spoke to Sarah at Storylines about foraging for food in the area, both present, past and future. You can the podcast here, alongside several other interviewees:

Gwelen: Stories of Mounts Bay from the Land

GWELEN: Conjure Up The Forest!

Hidden in Mount’s Bay lies Cornwall’s largest submerged forest. Discover stories of the bay from above and below the water as we explore this extraordinary landscape: it's geology, ecology, history and culture.

This podcast series accompanies the artwork GWELEN. Gwelen is a site-specific sculptural installation that invites people to imagine the forest. Created for the Penzance-Marazion coastal path by artist Emma Smith, with local residents. This podcast series is a collaboration between Emma Smith and Storylines with people who live and work in Mount's Bay.

Forager Rachel Lambert talking about seaweeds for the Gwelen project

Wild food recipes for Mounts Bay (past and present)

A third element of the project was to create a wild food recipe for the area. The recipe was to use ingredients that would have been present in the forest before it was submerged and are still present today.

This recipe for Blackberry and Plantain Seeded Bread was enjoyed by participants attending the foraging walks. Other wild tasters included: Rock Samphire salsa verde (left) and Blackberry jam (right). It also became part of a physical and downloadable booklet entitled: Rituals and Practices for conjuring the Forest.

Blackberry and Plantain Seeded Bread

You can access the full recipe in this downloadable pamphlet: Gwelen: Rituals and Practices for conjuring the forest. The recipe can also be viewed here: Blackberry and Plaintain Seeded Bread.

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