The Good Friday tradition of trigging in Cornwall saw crowds of people heading to the riverbeds and estuaries at Helford and St Anthony yesterday.

It was a day of mixed weather, with sun, showers and even hail at one point.

Generally, however, the weather proved favourable – and better than forecast – for those who make trigging an annual tradition.

The old Cornish term for cockle picking, trigging sees people digging through the riverbed at low tide, looking for cockles and winkles, which live just under the surface and can be uncovered at low tide.

Falmouth Packet: Thomas and Hattie paddle in the shallowsThomas and Hattie paddle in the shallows (Image: NQ staff)

Ancient law states that people are only allowed to do this on one day of the year – Good Friday.

The estuary around Helford and St Anthony is a particularly popular location on the Lizard Peninsula, while Helford Passage is a favourite on the Falmouth side.

Falmouth Packet: Four generations trigging: Jasmine Mason with Harley Beard, Ann Orchard, Talia Mason and Shirley PooreFour generations trigging: Jasmine Mason with Harley Beard, Ann Orchard, Talia Mason and Shirley Poore (Image: NQ staff)

People head there armed with rakes, buckets and welly boots, in order to stand in the shallows and sift through the top layer of silt to uncover the shellfish treasures below.

While some then take their haul home to cook up for supper, others prefer to throw them back for another year.

Falmouth Packet: Oakley's first triggingOakley's first trigging (Image: NQ staff)

Many families take the opportunity to all meet up as a group to chat, look for cockles and enjoy lunch – usually a pasty, with Good Friday always one of the busiest days of the year for Gear Farm near St Martin, supplying those heading to St Anthony and the Helford.

This year’s tide times worked particularly well for those wanting to make a lunch out of it, with low tide at 1.43pm.

Falmouth Packet: Not a bad haul! Not a bad haul! (Image: NQ staff)

Traditionally many Christians refrain from eating meat on Good Friday, in recognition of Jesus sacrificing his own flesh on the cross, which is why fish is often favoured on this day.

For those taking their cockles home to eat, you couldn’t get much fresher.

Falmouth Packet: Three-year-old Eben rakes through the mudThree-year-old Eben rakes through the mud (Image: NQ staff)