Not all Mondays are dull and grey. This time last week, we joined the wonderful folk at Fore/Adventure to take a class in adventure at their brilliant Beach School. My boys are veterans of Forest School, and already love whittling sticks and lighting fires. Beach school was all of this and more. We arrived at Fore HQ on a warm and hazy morning. Along with Fore founders, Jade and Dan, and their brood of lovely girls, we were ready to explore the shoreline of Middle Beach, on Dorset’s wild Studland peninsula.
We scrambled over rocks and peered into rock pools, with Dan as our guide. Full of infectious enthusiasm for our environment, he taught us how to hunt for razor clams and to identify different types of edible seaweed. The children filled their buckets with seaside treasures, whilst we filled ours with foraged edibles: sea beet, and garlic mustard (the charmingly named Jack-by-the-Hedge).
Back at the Fore camp, Dan patiently showed the children that they could help with chopping the firewood. To the boy’s delight, he taught my eldest how to shave curled firelighters with his knife, and let him light the fire with his steel. All of the children got involved in the making of garlic mustard flatbreads, stirred together over a flat rock and cooked over the fire. They were really rather delicious, with their woodsmoke tang. The crispy fried sea beet leaves were also swiftly devoured and to finish, the traditional campfire favourite: toasted marshmallows.
My beloved was lucky enough to head out with Dan in the sea kayaks on a trip to Old Harry’s Rocks, and came back salty of skin, weary of limb and full of heart. It was, declared, the best morning he could remember. The boys and I wholeheartedly agreed. The children left with new friends, huge smiles and useful skills. I carried with me a sense of connection, to lovely Jade and Dan, following their dream and sharing their passion, and also to the shore itself. To the sand, the sky, and the endless ocean. A memory of wildness to hold fast to in the days and weeks ahead.
Fore/Adventure are based on Dorset’s Jurassic coast. They offer an array of amazing outdoor adventures, from foraging to fishing, coasteering to campfires. They’re also the very nicest folk, so do pop over and say hello. You can find them here: