Summer is the absolute best time for collecting seaweeds, and with a number of inspirational cookbooks and guides published this year, now could not be a better time for getting your feet wet! This is my second article on seaweed for Country kitchen.
Legally the situation is somewhat complex. See John Wright’s excellent little book (details below) for the head-scratching details. Also check for lists of Biodiversity Action Plan and Red Data Book species before harvesting anything. There may also be issues with where you collect, if they are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) or National Parks.
Permissions to gather, when and where necessary, may also depend on whether you are collecting for your own consumption or for sale (please don’t do the latter!). If in doubt call your local Natural England office or contact the marine section of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). For water quality information, call the Environment Agency.