This is our new (in early 2023) programme to organise regular beach visits by groups of young people (age range 7 - 15) to study - with guidance - what they find on the beach every month. Categories include: Flora, Invertebrates, Crustaceans, Fish, Mammals, Seashells.
The project has many objectives:
1. Gathering baseline data of biodiversity around shorelines in the UK.
2. Providing children with engaging active learning science based tasks.
3. Helping children engage with a series of activities that encourage them to link with and comprehend nature, and take part in outdoor activities, improving wellbeing and mental health particularly in children with difficult circumstances.
4. Giving children agency as researchers.
5. Building children's resilience by encouraging independence and ownership of outdoor learning.
6. Building pride in the heritage of coastal communities.
7. Creating a habit of lifelong learning.
In other words, our aim is to help children discover and understand what should be expected at what season, to compare and contrast with other parts of the country, and to find out if something unusual is happening. This is all part of our broader mission to develop much greater awareness of the natural world in the vicinity of the bells, and in particular to become more alert to issues relating to climate change.
Each participating group will also choose a square metre of concrete plinth (or something similar and hard), within the intertidal zone, and take a photo of it every month to show seasonal changes. The expectation will be to observe non native species attached to hard surfaces - when this happens, how often and if these species grow less than native species. Seaweed should also show growth.
The project is built on our years of experience in providing education resources for parents and children who live near our bells, in running year round beach schools, and on our work on citizen science.
What we offer
Each project will be led by a trained teacher, or similar. We offer guidance in a variety of forms:
* ID sources - posters, etc.
* Relevant Youtube clips
* Links to other projects
* Regular Zoom calls
* Input from marine biologists to feed back to the children about the importance of their findings
The pilot phase
Starting in March 2023 we will be running this programme as a pilot, in the five locations listed below, which will show growing numbers of beach finds. We are looking to expand this in the Autumn.
Please get in touch if you would like to be part of this exciting programme.