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Foraging with Ffyon

I Photo by Nigel Hicks

Seasonal events by the sea

CATHERINE ANDREWS is the Marine Awareness Officer at Wembury Marine Centre, here she tells us more about the centre. EMBURY Marine Centre is 9 miles to the east of Plymouth and managed by Devon Wildlife Trust. We run a busy programme of seasonal events for the public and also year round for educational groups. Our visitor centre based at Wembury beach is open from April to September each year and is free to enter. Our aim is to promote the beautiful marine wildlife found off the Devon coast and also to raise awareness of how we can protect it for future generations. Come and join us at the beach for a rockpool safari - we’ll take you on a guided tour of some of the best rockpools in the UK and we’ll find cushion starfish, velvet swimming crabs, squat lobsters, snakelocks anemones and much more! Our safaris run from April to early October in the school holidays and also at weekends. If you fancy seeing marine life from a different perspective then why not consider joining one of our guided snorkel safaris? These events run in the summer months and this year we’re offering sessions for both beginners and more experiences snorkellers. We have all the equipment you need and our fully trained instructors will take you out into Wembury bay to look for crabs and fish underwater. This year we’re running two week long holiday clubs for children, one in the May half term and one in the August summer holiday. If your child or children love the outdoors and the beach and you’re looking for childcare then why not consider booking them a place with us. We’ll take them rockpooling, stream dipping, den building, fire lighting, bug hunting, beach combing and more and they’ll come home full of stories about their day and worn out from the sea air! Our events are tide dependent and some need booking in advance, please visit our website for more details including prices www. wemburymarinecentre.org or phone us 01752 862538 you can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.


love seaweeds. I love watching them dance. I love watching their colours gleam. I love how cooling their gels can feel on sun-sore skin. And I love the energy I have when I eat them: it’s as though the power of the sea is simply coursing through my veins. Seaweeds are the most powerful foods on Earth. They contain 13 vitamins as well as calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and 1,000 times more iodine than land plants. They are nature’s secret to balancing your metabolism, fighting disease and revitalizing mind and body. The rocky shorelines of Britain are some of the best places in the world for seaweeds to grow and yet the knowledge of which ones to gather and how to prepare them for food and medicine and skincare is all but lost in our culture. As increasing numbers of people are now searching for new sources of nutrition closer to home, many are turning to the bounty of our sea gardens and wondering what’s edible. I have been exploring and experimenting with our native seaweeds for more than 10 years now. As far as I know at this point (invasive species being the thing that would change this), there is only one that’s poisonous: Sea Sorrel. It contains sulphuric acid to repel sea creatures. It’s red and fluffy and looks a little like a Christmas tree when floating in the

Photo Devon Wildlife Trust


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Local foraging guru FFYONA CAMPBELL, has a love of wil produce and in particular one from our coastline - seaweed She tells us more in a special feature written and illustrated j for Reconnect Magazine.

water. Don’t eat that one. Don’t eat free floating seaweeds either, they are decomposing. You wouldn’t eat from your compost bin, so don’t eat from the sea’s compost bin either, it can make you sick. The right way to gather seaweeds is to use a pair of scissors, not a knife, and cut them a third from Photograph by Dominic Rutt at streetmotion.co the rock. If you do this they will grow back twice as thickly within a few weeks so that the more you gather the more there will be. This is the ultimate method of sustainability Born in Totnes Ffyona is and the only one that has been a British long distance proven to work for all time. walker who walked Don’t eat seaweeds in areas where around the world over there is an abundance of mussels 11 years and raised on the rocks, they are filter feeders £180,000 for charity. and thrive most in the rich waters Inspired by the hunteraround sewage outlets. The air gatherers she met on her where you gather your seaweed journey - Aborigines, should smell fresh and the water Bushmen, Pygmies and should look clean and clear. North American Indians There are three seaweed colours she learnt how to be a to choose from: red, green and hunter-gatherer when brown. You should eat a balance she returned to the UK, of each of these colours.

The hunter-ga

Exploring a life on the sea that m Here’s the second of our series of contributions from TONY FITZSIMMONS documentary photographer and photojournalist based in Plymouth.


HILE onboard the Brixham trawler Emily Rose, I came across a number of copies of Fishing News, a weekly national newspaper covering the UK and Irish commercial fishing industry. Arthur Dewhirst, the skipper of the Emily Rose suggested I send in some photos of my week at sea (and in particular he joked, any that included him). The chance to get some exposure this early on seemed well worth chasing up and I jotted down the editor’s contact details. At home, exhausted yet immensely proud

of my week long adventure; a unlike anything I had ever exp before, my first actual project graduation was now firmly un I spent many days and nights editing a series of images wh an email to the editor, linking and my new Emily Rose galle matter of days, I received a re if I would like to write an artic time onboard. I honestly coul my luck. Not only was the la of my degree beginning to pa took my first steps towards be documentary photographer, I getting a taste of what it was photojournalist. After a very honest account o onboard, with the editor choo highlighting in large letters my throwing up sessions, I graced of Fishing News with a full thr Weeks later, thanks to the eve Norman Holmes, the owner o


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