What Can You Forage on the Helford?
I love the diversity of Cornwall; here I am writing by the South coast, and next week I’ll be down an estuary (image above), near a beautiful creek, stepping over a slightly different range of plants and edibles.
Though hang on a minute.
Foraging isn’t meant to be all about ‘take, take, take’, it’s about so much more than that. It can involve reading the landscape, appreciating an area, finding ways to manage, learn about it, care for or protect an area.
Take a breath and a big step back.
There are things to forage on the Helford, and so much more, and of course the Helford is a designated Marine Conservation Area to protect the diverse marine life in this area.
I remember years ago being on a small boat down the Helford estuary and meeting Rory McPhee (the first person in the UK to gain a license to harvest seaweeds commercially). We shared stories and floated ideas of foraging for Key Plums powered by paddle and oar along the waters edge, and searching for oysters on the shoreline.
There’s something very special about estuaries; an area of water that connects the land and sea and has varying degrees of salinity. Here you’ll find edible plants (from hedgerow to coastal plants), marine algae (edible seaweeds of many types and range of uses) and mollusks (oysters, cockles, mussels, clams, scallops) that can either thrive on land, in the sea, in fresh water or in areas in-between the two. A fascinating and a rich area!