If you’re lucky enough to live not more than five minutes from the sea as I do and you enjoy a bit of a collect and forage, then these two little books are just lovely.
The Seaweed Collector’s Handbook: From Purple Laver to Peacock’s Tail is the first and just lovely. Written by the Dutch poet and artist Miek Zwamborn, it explores the history, culture and use, from the Neolithic people of the Orkney Islands to sushi artisans in modern Japan. Seaweed has inspired artists, given explorers like Columbus trouble and was avidly collected by the Victorians. It has identifying illustrations by Zwamborn and is the perfect explorers pocket size.
Next is The Pebble Spotter’s Guide by geologist and passionate pebble spotter Clive Mitchell. Sit on the beach or beside a stream and literally see what’s under your feet and how to identify different sorts of rocks and stones. Fascinating stuff.