Sunday, 26 May 2013

Harlech beach clean and feast

A dozen volunteers got stuck into the Portmeirion end of Harlech beach collecting all kinds of rubbish; orange string, green string, blue ropes, chunky ropes, plastic fish netting and so on but maybe not so many carrier bags as in previous years? Or is that wishful thinking that the bag charge is changing behaviour?

Pick-ups ferried sacks of rubbish to the car park with deep, drifting sand making it difficult to exit from the beach. Charging into the dunes the white 4x4s looked as though they were taking part in a trans Sahara rally.

By mid-afternoon sausages were sizzling over charcoal and wildlife guide Brian Macdonald was scanning the shimmering sea through his scope. Volunteers reappeared; must have been the long distance smell of sausages. They brought with them the odd bit of wildlife washed up in the strand line which Brian helped identify. I now know what to call that potato looking thing, a ‘potato urchin’ of course.
Jenny master chef

One of Brian’s specialities is to serve beach suppers with his guests helping gather edible seaweed, shellfish and driftwood for the fire. Today he brought mussels from Llandanwg placing them on racks above sawdust in a smoker sat on the barbecue. While they were smoking away he served mugs of crab bisque, made from one third shore crabs and two thirds edible crab. Chilled white wine was poured and then the mussels were ready, shells split open. Scooping out the orangey flesh with one half of the shell they slipped down a treat. Definitely not al dente.

smoked mussels
All blue sky, Snowdon clear, good company, good food and not a scrap of litter to be seen – job well done. Thank you to you volunteers who gave your time, thank you Jenny and the Snowdonia Society for organising the event, thank you Snowdonia National Park and Natural Resources Wales for laying on transport and thank you to Brian for a gastronomic delight. 

You can find out more about Brian’s wildlife guiding on his website. If you would like to join a Snowdonia Society volunteer event see the website for opportunities. 7th June is footpath maintenance on Snowdon and 15th June is dolphin surveying from the Great Orme.

If Brian was on Desert Island Discs I think he'd take the scope

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