22 September 2012

Who Stole the Seaweed?

A couple of days ago, the weather was lovely and sunny and, thinking I should make the most of it before the weather turns cold, I decided to go beachcombing at my favourite beachcombing beach. Now it's not a particularly attractive beach, it's not massive stretches of golden sand and picturesque seafront cottages, it's greyish sand and pebbles and modern looking bungalows, but it is a fantastic beach for gathering shells and driftwood. When I used to make handmade cards, I used the tiny shells I collected as embellishments for my cards along with tiny pieces of  sea glass and pottery worn smooth by the ebb and flow of the tides and I used the pieces of driftwood I collected from the high tide line to decorate my house and garden. It's been a while since I have been to this particular beach, about year or so, and I was in for a big shock when I got there. Not only has a brand new cafe appeared in the carpark, but someone has moved all the seaweed! The weather hadn't been particularly rough or windy and the tides hadn't been particularly high, which could have washed the seaweed back out to sea so I suspect that now the beach is getting popular, the tourists have complained about the seaweed and the council, ever a slave to tourism, have decided to scrape the beach clean of anything that remotely resembles wildlife! The problem is, not only has all the seaweed gone (along with my driftwood) but the wildlife that lives in and on the seaweed has also gone, making the beach a sterile, barren place. There are no small crustaceans or sand hoppers for the birds to feed on and no dark, damp shelter for the creatures that get stranded at high tide. I realise that most people would prefer a seaweed free beach but I do think that before the council go scraping away with their tractors, (if indeed it was the council, I could well be maligning a totally innocent council, although I secretly suspect it was) they should spare a thought for the creatures that live there all year round, unlike the tourists who go home at the end of the season.


  1. How sad for you! Maybe it will recolonize next year.

    Thank you for becoming a follower - have given you a shout-out today!

    Pomona x

  2. You are lucky living by the coast to be able to go beachcombing - which I love doing when we are on holiday - second only to rockpooling. Removing the seaweed is almost an act of wanton vandalism in my book.

  3. Finnygook Beach at Portwrinkle is one of my favourite beaches, too, along with Seaton - and the cafe!
    I don't think the council have cleaned the beach because the only access is down the very narrow, steep path; maybe you went on a day when the sea had taken the weed back out.
    I was there a couple of weeks ago and picked up a couple of bits of bleached and smooth driftwood (now in my hall) also I picked enough samphire (from Harbour Beach) to accompany my dinner that night. Yum! There was plenty of seaweed, too! Loving your blog. x