Pick Your Own….Clams!
On a warm summer’s evening in July, whilst strolling around the East Head in West Wittering, I struck gold! For the last few weeks I have walked the beach in West Wittering with my wife and son, lost for the fact that I couldn’t seem to find a live clam and yet the beach is peppered in empty shells that the birds had clearly devoured. Where were they finding them and were there enough for me too? I had also stumbled across the odd oyster and mussel shells and would have been ecstatic to find any, (well maybe not the oysters for July doesn’t contain an “r” and therefore not the time to enjoy them), but to date had only drawn a blank. Well not anymore!
The scene was perfect, sun slowly setting, the air was warm, the waves were gently lapping and even my toddler was in a good mood. It was a chance find of a lone clam of which I held aloft as though I’d won the cup and proclaimed to my family “I’ve found one!” Rapturous applause and adoration unlikely, but the challenge was excepted. “Another one”, “I’ve found one too!”. This was amazing, they were lying on the wet sand as the tide gently rolled out. We were picking them up as fast as we could and soon ran out of hands. I needed a bucket and had none with me. Luckily my son and I had trucker hats on which soon became our makeshift vessels. The more we plucked, the more we discovered. Further we walked to the waters edge and as our feet sank into the wet marshy sand we could feel more under the mud! A veritable bounty, a pick your own coastal foragers delight. Now I would recommend that when doing this you keep the clams in some of the water you have picked them from, in a bucket, not a trucker hat.