I have washed up on the beaches of Cornwall…
…and found a host near Penzance who knows so much about foraging! I hadn’t been to Cornwall before, and am impressed by the moors, cliffs and seaside landscapes. For about the first half of my visit it was drizzling constantly, wet and cold. Nevertheless, you can really feel the land coming awake underneath the gloomy sky, blooming into spring. The gorse and willow are flowering, and the seaweed foraging season has begun.
Soon after I arrived, we were wandering down the cliff pathways to forage for laver, sea spaghetti, pepper dulce and sea lettuce. Caroline took me to a fairly isolated beach to pick the sea spaghetti and pepper dulce. The coastline is steep, and the gravel-rock-and-wood pathways was slippery with the previous night’s rain, but the walk down the remote coastline to the ocean was wild and beautiful.
We cut the stems of the newer, smooth strands of sea spaghetti from the root of the plant. The pepper dulce is much smaller. Caroline recommends cutting the stems of seaweeds only, always leaving the small root-growth at the base of the plant to regenerate.
When we went down at high tide, there were many, many anemones in all the rock pools. Some were closed so I didn’t recognise them at first. Although I have spent a lot of my life near the ocean, I had only seen two blooming anemones before this! Closed anemones look gross in comparison.
After I saw a few blooming (and in different colours!) I put two and two together and saw a lot more anemones.
This is the first beach in Cornwall I have had a chance to see, and it is so different from the beaches around where I grew up. Here, there are lots of cliffs, to rock pools, caves, doors – so unfamiliar! I have only seen this landscape in photographs and on TV in shows like Doc Marten, Midsomer Murders….
After getting back I knocked up a rough sketch of the seascape – the strongest memory.