A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

Helford Passage and walking out towards the bar, through warm shallow pools of water, over firm sand and mud, it bubbles and erupts with life. Shallow pool Half a dozen people were out taking advantage of the low tide to find a little bait for angling and food for the pot. Curiosity got the better of me and I approached a man with his carrier bag of Razor shells for bait to take his young son out angling in the days to come. We fell to musing about the how we could quantify the amount of Razor shells actually present per square metre, there is sure to be an answer somewhere out there! Then I went to talk to two young men who had no English (or pretended not to!)

I managed to glean from them that the Mussels they had in their buckets were to take home to eat. Picking Mussels Lastly a pair of young lads from Truro had a half bag each of Razor shells for bait and a cook up they were sat back on the rocks checking through their catch, they had a quote for me “when the tide goes out the table is set”. Interested in the origins of this I researched and found a folksong by the British Columbia Folklore Society based on this traditional saying of ‘First Peoples’ of Canada. “Come with me while the sand’s still wet, when the tide goes out the table is set, I know some people whose minds get stuck, to them low tide means slime and muck”.

Here is a beautiful Eyelash worm fortunately not considered by humans to be food or bait! Eyelash Worm

Published: June 2015
Author: Sue Scott (Helford Marine Conservation Group coordinator)