Posts tagged with “backyard exploring”

Mudlarking and Beachcombing?

Written by Laura Brown

I read a post about mudlarking. What to Know About Mudlarking. From Archaeology Now, London, England.

"Mudlarking is the romantic name for scavenging on the riverbank (also called the foreshore) when the tide is out."

Things I learned about mudlarking in England: you need a license (even just to poke around), there are places you are not allowed to go, and you must report your finds. The writer, Jill Brown, suggests a catch and release plan where you don't keep what you find, just put it back. Take photos, leave it where you found it. I can understand, those are the general rules for urban exploration too.

But, what if I want to keep it? I don't know if we have rules about beachcombing or mudlarking here in Canada, or Ontario. Maybe they do in Toronto, the city itself. I'm not sure if the same urban exploration rules apply for finding something washed up on a beach or forgotten under the dirt in a forest, etc.

I like the name mudlarking, but I would think of it as beachcombing. I wondered if they were two words meaning the same thing or is there a difference between the two. Reading the description from the post, they sound very similar. Unless you're some kind of elite purist and insist beachcombing can only be considered beachcombing if it takes place on an actual beach. I've never heard of forestcombing (as far as I can remember) and I know there is mud in a forest.

This is a history of mudlarking, quoted from the same post as above:

"Many 19th-century mudlarks were poor, desperate children. They made their miserable livings selling pieces of coal, bits of rope, and anything else they could find. Two hundred years on, the mud is still dirty, the water is still cold, and the extraordinary treasures are still few and unpredictable, but mudlarking has become amateur archaeology."

I don't think beachcombing started that way. It seems it has always been a hobby, finding little things to collect and ponder about.

A Gravestone Cleaning Kit

Written by Laura Brown

Of course, you could put together your own kit. Some cleaning solution, brushes, a little pick to pluck mould/ fungus out of the small places, and something to keep water in. But, it supports others if you choose to buy the kit. Also, you won't have to look for the best cleaning solution and brushes yourself.

I think you might bring along something to sit on too. Also, I'd consider an old towel or blanket to spread on the grass. Just in case the grass doesn't like something in the soap/ cleaner you use.

If you pick out the fungus and mould consider collecting all of those little living things and moving them to a new location. I've seen people making gardens with mould and fungi collected from the street.

Of course, bring your camera! If nothing else, get some before and after photos.