Baby Boom Predicted for Somerset Village
After an absence of more than one hundred years, shellfish farming is making a comeback in a Somerset village. The two year project to revive the local industry which died out in the nineteenth century involved oyster and mussel beds being laid in the sea in Porlock Bay. The process started with bags of seed oysters being hung from metal trestles so that they could grow on ropes attached to poles which had been driven into the sea. Two years on and the project has produced oysters that have been given the thumbs up by the Food Standards Agency which gave it its highest hygiene rating. This means the oysters have the minimum of bacteria so do not need to be cleaned before they can be eaten and can therefore be sent directly to restaurants in the local area. The Porlock Bay oyster farm grows the large Pacific variety of shellfish and is just one of two in England that have been given the top rating. The other farm grows the smaller native English oyster. A great achievement for the £17,000 project which was funded by Porlock Parish Council and Exmoor National Park. The next step is to undertake a small scale trial which if successful will be developed into what would be the first ‘community sustainable shellfish farm’ in the UK. The Pearl of Somerset.