Enjoy a taste of seashore foraging on the coast of Dorset with editor Fergus Collins and wild food expert John Wright
When it comes to foraging, I’m a landlubber – I know my blackberries from my blackthorn and can identify a fair number of edible wild greens, which often end up in suppers. But aside from mussels, I’m all at sea when it comes to finding free food on the coast.
Alas, the coast of my native Monmouthshire/Gwent comprises endless tides and murk and only the waders and wildfowl find anything in the mudflats. Exciting for birdwatchers but lean pickings for hungry, two-legged mammals.
So when I was invited down to Weymouth by those nice people at Badger Ales for a day of foraging with John Wright – he who has taught Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall a few things over the years – I hightailed it down there.
I met John in a car park at the eastern end of Chesil Beach. He has the air of a man who has found the lost path to happiness – a simple joy in nature coupled with seeing the funny side of what he does. A refreshing change from the serious, self-aware characters who so often claim the title of environmentalist or wildlife-lover.
We began with a forage around the car park. As anyone who loves nature knows, the best stuff is always around the car park – so John said. We found marsh samphire (pronounced ‘sam-fur’ and delicious, though horribly expensive in the Dorset’s finest restaurants), rock samphire (this time pronounced ‘sam-fire’) and, best of all, seabeet.
Read more on this subject at: https://www.countryfile.com/how-to/food-recipes/get-into-seashore-foraging/