Food for free down at the sea shore

During the bank holiday weekend we went down to the beach, on a guided walk foraging for food. We spent a few hours on the seashore looking for food to eat. It didn't rain but the wind made it feel so cold even with hat and gloves on . I can't remember when I last wore hats and gloves in May! When I opened my Country Living magazine for June Sarah Raven was showing plants that grow by the seashore, I'm afraid my photographs don't capture the sun and warmth like hers do!

This plant above is Jack-by-the hedge but is also known as Garlic Mustard or Sauce alone ( I love some of the old names). I have eaten this before it has a mild garlic flavour and is nice in sandwiches or added to salad. The flowers can also be eaten, the leaves smell of garlic if lightly rubbed.

Wild sea beet ,sea beet or sea spinach is found all around the coast line in the UK on the upper part of the beach. It can be used like spinach but it may need slightly looker cooking .

These are St Georges Mushrooms and are named because they appear around St Georges Day. I have never heard or seen them before, has anyone else?

We were also shown the different types of seaweed we can eat. There are between 20-30 edible seaweeds in the UK. These included the green one in the picture growing from the rocks, this should be cut up and cooked as chinese crispy seaweed. The smaller red one can be used in place of gelatine.

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Finally we looked at shellfish and food from the sea. We found cockles, muscles,winkles,clams,razor fish and prawns, but not enough to make a meal!. It was a real eye opener to realise how much food is available in such a small area! So next time you are down on the beach take a closer look around you.

We have found this little pocket book which we keep in our rucksack, to be very useful. It is written by Richard Mabey and lists over 100 edible plants, berries, mushrooms, seaweed and shellfish. It also gives recipes too.

I had planned to post this at the weekend but then the sun came out and I had to share the sunshine with you instead!

Welcome and hello to Karen and Vagabonde thank you so much for joining my following.

Happy foraging!


  1. Very interesting! Here in Switzerland is a lady (she lives in the Italian part) who owns a restaurant and only cooks with plants and flowers that grow around her. I have seen her on TV and I was amazed how many plants are edible and what one can do with them. Thanks a lot, Sarah for these impressions! Christa

  2. You know, one of the things I remember from my childhood is going to the beach (this was in Portugal) and everytime we went we always brought home something to eat. In those days (30 or so years ago) it was quite easy to find cockles and mussels and we always managed to get enough for the 4 of us and it was delicious. Your post reminded me of that.

  3. Hi Sarah, really different and nice post...
    Never heard of those mushrooms also...


  4. What an interesting day you had! We've got a load of that jack-by-the-hedge growing in our garden now that the grass is being left to grow longer, I'll have to try cutting some. xx

  5. Foraging is so interesting-certainly more so than visiting a supermarket!! Sea spinach sounds great - have you tried it? Those mushrooms are new to me too - will have to find out more. Thanks Sarah! xx

    1. Yes we picked some last weekend. I actually preferred it to spinanch, it has a similar taste but didn't reduce down as much as spinach.

  6. How awesome! I was going to do an urban food foraging walk recently but ended up being away when it was held. But more are popping up now here in Australia which is very exciting. I have looked at things like this being held overseas and longed for it to take off here. So glad you enjoyed.


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