The National Lobster Hatchery, a marine conservation, research and education charity based in Cornwall, was delighted to join forces with Wild Thymes to run a coastal foraging workshop, combined with a lobster release, at Trevone earlier this month.

A group of 30 participants gathered on the beach, each adopting and naming their very own little lobster before watching them being released back into the sea. In this way, 100 juvenile lobsters, including ‘Snappy’, ‘Lobstey’ and ‘Steve’, were given a head start in life, and participants were able to put something back after enjoying treats from nature’s larder in the form of foraged seaweed nibbles. By raising lobsters with TLC though their vulnerable planktonic larval stages at the Padstow Hatchery before releasing them on to the seabed, their chances of survival are hugely increased.

Local foraging expert Megan Adams, from Wild Thymes, shared her extensive knowledge of coastal foraging, explaining the medicinal, nutritious and delicious uses of seaweeds and shoreline plants. Participants learned which plants are good to eat, discussed recipe ideas, and practiced sustainable harvest techniques. The day ended with a fantastic selection of pre-prepared tasters, including delicious nettle pesto, sorrel raita, foraged bhajis and some seaweed scones.

“What a fantastic, informative, afternoon. A mooch over the rocks learning about seaweed foraging and culinary uses, followed by a well-pitched talk about the lifecycle of lobsters, the opportunity to adopt one and then see it released. I, and my five-year-old, both thoroughly enjoyed the event, all set in a lovely location with some home cooked nibbles for afters. Highly recommend – thank you,” said Ruth Grimmer, who attended the day.

Cat Wilding, education and outreach officer at the National Lobster Hatchery said: “Working together with Wild Thymes has been a great opportunity for the charity to get out and about, promoting sustainable fisheries while enjoying delicious foraged food and fun on the beach. In some parts of Europe, stocks of lobster have collapsed, meaning it is critical that we continue with the excellent management of lobster fisheries in the seas around Cornwall, in order to safeguard the livelihood of our coastal communities and support this vulnerable species.”

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