Wales is renowned for its diverse and beautiful coastline, attracting visitors from all over the world to appreciate its natural splendour. With the plethora of flora and fauna available all over the coastal cliffs, valleys and woodlands, any walk or hike is sure to be full of fascinating things to see, but how would you like to get an even closer look at nature in this part of the world? Coastal Foraging is a company based in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire whereby owner Craig takes customers out on walks along the coast to find ingredients, before cooking up a feast right there and then! Here at Quality Unearthed, we’ve taken a closer look at this unique experience that makes for a fantastic day-time activity during your time glamping in Wales!
Coastal Foraging Founder Craig grew up in Wales and learnt his edibles from his ‘unedibles’ from a young age. He was taught how to pick mushrooms, wimberries and blackberries, had a knack for tickling trout and would accompany is father to the coast to collect cockles. He’s had various other careers including twelve years as an RAF Engineer and eight years managing woodland, but he is now making the most of his extensive knowledge and shares his passion with anyone who will listen thanks to Coastal Foraging. Craig is no stranger to wildlife along this coast and having kept and studied the behaviour of salt water sea life in his large aquarium, it’s fair to say he knows more than most about living off this land. He said:
“My hope for the future is to educate the wider world about our fantastic coastal environment and promote it’s conservation, and to inspire people to pass on any knowledge gained down through future generations. Drawing people to the area will also, hopefully, promote the local area and benefit the local communities.”
Craig and his dog offer a range of different courses depending on what you’re hoping to get out of the experience.
The Classic Course
Discover sea vegetables and learn about the seashore environment before embarking upon some foraging of your own, finding an array of wonderful sea life that this part of Wales is renowned for. There are three different types of classic course to choose from. Firstly, Beach and Rocky Shore, which is somewhat of a rockpool safari where you’ll gather various shellfish, sea vegetables and crustaceans. The second of these is Tidal Mud Flats and Estuaries, where you’ll keep a keen eye out for clams, cockles, oysters and an array of sea vegetables including marsh samphire. Finally, the Sand Dunes System course is mostly educational, and will look out for cockles and clams alongside a number of specialist sand dune plants like Sea Holly. The group will meet Craig at a pre-arranged time and location where the timetable for the day ahead is set. Here, you’ll have the chance to ask Craig any questions you may have about foraging or the local area to make the most of his local and knowledgeable expertise.
Extreme Low-Tide Course
The extensive tidal range means that much more of the lower shore can be exposed, giving those that are so inclined the opportunity to discover deep-water species. Edible prawns and crabs can be found on extreme low-tide courses, and those that are really lucky may even source a lobster or octopus. It is likely that those taking this course will encounter soft corals, a large variety of sponges and various species of anemonae, which is easier to spot than it is to say. Eyes will be peeled for edible seaweed such as kelps and there’s even the potential to spot some beautiful blue-rayed limpets. Foraging will take place for a couple of hours and if conditions permit, participants will be able to cook some of their discoveries so as to sample and appreciate an authentic flavour of the coast.
Special Interest Courses
Craig is flexible and his more than happy to arrange courses that are tailored to personal or business requirements. Team building courses for groups, Stag & Hen parties, schools and clubs can all be arranged and if there’s anything specific you would like to forage for in your experience then contact Craig and he will endeavour to make your vision a reality. Eating requirements can also be taken into account, with vegetarian/vegan alternatives available. As with the other courses, you are likely to spend a few hours foraging before cooking your discoveries.
Preparing for Your Experience
Given the outdoor nature of this expedition, anyone planning a trip with Coastal Foraging will need to ensure they are dressed appropriately for the weather conditions. Be it sun cream and a cap or warm clothes and waterproofs, the weather in Wales is unpredictable at the best of times and it’s important to be prepared for every eventuality. We recommend robust and reliable footwear and refreshments for the walking ahead. Bring a backpack for your foraged items as well as a bag for any litter you may have or wish to pick up along the way, helping to keep the Wales coast line as beautiful as possible for all. Some walks can cumulate up to four miles of walking, so a certain level of fitness or mobility is required, therefore, if you have any concerns don’t hesitate to get in contact with the team at Coastal Foraging who will be more than happy to advise.
Craig has kindly offered a discount to all Quality Unearthed customers. If you find yourself Glamping in Wales and want to try something new during your time away, head over to the Coastal Foraging website and book a course using code UNEARCLASS for the Classic Course or UNEAREXT for the Extreme Low Tide Course for 5% off! Any customers that can prove they have travelled to their glamping abode via public transport, with tickets or email confirmations, will also receive £10 cash back from the course fee upon arrival! For more information and inspiration, check out Coastal Foraging with Craig Evans on YouTube, @coastal_foraging_with_craig on Instagram and Coastal Foraging with Craig Evans on Facebook.