Samphire-hunting in the salt marsh

On August 1, traditionally the first day of the samphire season, Great Food Mag explored the salt marsh at Kirton Skeldyke near Boston, Lincs, with members of the Slow Food Lincolnshire & Rutland convivium.

The flatlands of Lincolnshire can feel barren at times, but on close examination Kirton salt marsh hums with natural life and transmits a strange tranquility, its lifeforms and vistas ebbing and flowing with the tide. The horizon is visible everywhere you look, the sky huge.

Our guide for the day was June Barton, Queen of the Salt Marsh, who has spent all her days near Kirton’s marsh. Her knowledge of and love for the marsh is second to none, and she was fast to point out dangerous patches of quicksand. Wandering out into the tidal area in search of samphire is not wise.

As it turned out, samphire was thin on the ground but visible in patches.

The real star of the day was the salt marsh, which, with its varied flora and fauna, is a strangely beguiling place.

Slow Food Lincolnshire & Rutland organise all sorts of excellent foodie events all year round. For information on how to join the group, call Sarah Lyon on 01780 753772.

Slow Food Lincs & Rutland on the march near the marsh.

June Barton, Queen of the Salt Marsh.

Evidence of life is everywhere when you look at the marsh closely.

A patch of samphire – the vibrant green plant in the centre of the shot.

The marsh is a hugely important habitat for birds.

Quicksand – best avoided.

Lots of sky and horizon is visible out here.

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.