Once a thriving local industry, dead cockles now lie on Wales' Burry Inlet by the millions. Those in the industry fear pollution is to blame. The Environment Agency is investigating. Photography by Adam Patterson
The cockles began dying prematurely in 2002, taking with them an ancient way of life.
David Turner's working year has been cut to just an 8-12 week race to gather cockles before they die.
Clive Rees has been in the industry for 30 years. He struggles to come to terms with the loss of his livelihood.
Many cockle pickers have been forced into other work, some have lost their homes.
Cockle picking once kept people employed year round, now there is not enough work to go around.
Locals point to sewage debris in the inlet and feel that the use of combined sewer overflow pipes (CSOs) are a factor in the disappearing cockles.
Robert Griffiths stands beside one of the sewer overflow pipes that releases into Burry Inlet. He has demanded answers to what is killing the cockles.
Smaller cockles were once returned to the sea, but now are picked to keep the industry alive. The Environment Agency has yet to determine if sewage overflow is the culprit.
Louvain James, 67, has been working the cockle beds of Burry Inlet for 46 years. Welsh Water said it has spent £50m on upgrading sewer infrastructure and plans to spend £30m more.
Glyn Hyndman shows a photograph of his aunt collecting cockles with horse and cart. Most Burry Inlet cockle pickers inherited the tradition from their families. Photography by Adam Patterson