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Seaweed Harvesting Code of Conduct
1 Always consult Natural England and your local Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) before harvesting seaweed and obtain permission from the landowner.
2 Harvest seaweed only by hand – mechanical methods should not be used.
3 Do not use vehicles on the foreshore.
4 Avoid disturbing wildlife such as seabirds and seals by keeping an appropriate distance away.
5 Avoid or minimise trampling on non-target organisms and avoid taking ‘bycatch’ such as stalked jellyfish, brittlestars, bryozoans and blue-rayed limpets.
6 Collect less than one third of an individual plant to allow for regrowth.
7 Cut fronds (leaves) well above the point of growth (e.g. the meristem for kelps) and always leave the holdfast attached.
8 Harvest sparsely, taking only a small percentage of standing stock.*
9 Rotate harvesting areas to allow ample time for recovery. Harvested areas should be left for up to several years, depending on the species, before harvesting again.*
10 Harvest seaweeds during the active growth season to allow for quicker recovery.*
11 Harvest seaweeds after reproduction has occurred if possible and ensure a substantial proportion of mature plants remain.*
12 Take extra care when harvesting invasive non-native seaweeds to ensure that seaweeds or spores are not transferred to other areas. Follow ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ biosecurity principles, checking, cleaning and drying all equipment and clothing when moving between sites to ensure that invasive species, pests and diseases are not spread to new areas. ** (https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/nonnativespecies/checkcleandry/#)
13 Do not collect drift seaweed from the entire length of strandlines – harvest sparsely as this constitutes an important habitat.
14 Keep records of volumes of each species of seaweed harvested, along with date and location.
15 Limit harvesting in erosion prone coastal areas (i.e. dunes) where kelp forests dissipate wave energy.
16 Please be aware that foreshores can be hazardous. Do not put yourself at risk of injury by collecting seaweed in adverse conditions and be aware of tides.
*Consult Natural England for further information/ advice
** For information on how to identify non-native seaweeds, please see the GBNNSS website:
We are based on the beautiful Rame Peninsula in South East Cornwall. You can choose from hedgerow walks with stunning sea views, coastal walks that finish on the wonderful Cornish shoreline, woodland walks and even discover what's hidden in the wild urban landscapes of our nearest city, just across the water - Plymouth. We range in price from our popular monthly wild food walks (with a cookery class using the wild produce we've collected at the end also included!) for just £20 an adult and children go free. Bespoke private walks can be arranged at any time (and location of your choosing) - and we also offer exciting packages tailored for honeymooners and corporate team building days etc (please see the relevant pages on this site!). We also run courses in traditional countryside crafts - such as bee keeping, willow weaving and working with wild game.
01752 823424 / 07900 792 033