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.
This very ambitious project is a layered one, with many objectives:
Educational/Developmental 1. 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. 2. Building children's resilience by encouraging independence and ownership of outdoor learning. 3. Developing amongst vulnerable children a sense of their own worth. 4. Creating a habit of lifelong learning.
Scientific 5. Gathering baseline data of biodiversity around shorelines in the UK. 6. Monitoring changes on the coast caused by climate change. 7. Giving children agency as researchers.
Cultural 8. Building pride in the heritage of coastal communities. 9. Helping children engage with a series of activities that encourage them to link with and comprehend nature, and take part in outdoor activities.
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.
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.