Wild Beach days helping youngsters to understand living landscape of the North Sea

William Wright and Ellis Cheek searching for sea creatures at the Wild Beach event in Felixstowe. P

William Wright and Ellis Cheek searching for sea creatures at the Wild Beach event in Felixstowe. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Youngsters discovered the sea is so much more than a place to paddle as they took part in the first of a series of events to celebrate Suffolk’s coastline.

William Wright and Ellis Cheek searching for sea creatures at the Wild Beach event in Felixstowe. P

William Wright and Ellis Cheek searching for sea creatures at the Wild Beach event in Felixstowe. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT) is holding the Wild Beach events as part of National Marine Week to show children that the sea is a living landscape and help them to understand its wildlife.

Two sessions in Felixstowe – at Manor Terrace and Ocean Boulevard – saw dozens of youngsters aged one to 14 and their parents and carers beachcombing, collecting plankton, painting pebbles and making mini-rafts and kites from recyclable materials.

Bev Rogers, of the SWT, said: “We want to celebrate the North Sea, an amazing habitat we have on our doorstep but is often forgotten.

“The theme is ‘living seas’ and we want to show the families what goes on in the sea and help them to understand the life it holds.

William Wright and Ellis Cheek searching for sea creatures at the Wild Beach event in Felixstowe. P

William Wright and Ellis Cheek searching for sea creatures at the Wild Beach event in Felixstowe. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“During the beachcombing we found the egg case of a ray which we put into water to rehydrate and then we were able to measure it and look at the particular species from which it came.”

Bev said sometimes families scampered onto the beach to have fun but in their excitement didn’t always see the wider picture – and the habitat around them.

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She said: “For example, Sizewell beach has some wonderful vegetated habitat which is so important to our coastline but people probably miss the plants as they head for the sand. We just want help people look at the beach in a slightly different way and help them to understand the things they see and find, such as the egg case.

“We want to bring the beach and sea to life. Several of the youngsters had seen a cuttlefish bone before in a bird cage but didn’t know that it came from a creature in the sea – we were able to show them pictures and explain how these fish live and what they feed on.”

William Wright and Ellis Cheek searching for sea creatures at the Wild Beach event in Felixstowe. P

William Wright and Ellis Cheek searching for sea creatures at the Wild Beach event in Felixstowe. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Wild Beach sessions will also be held from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4pm at Aldeburgh tomorrow; Sizewell Beach on August 7; Dunwich, August 8; and Southwold, August 9.

Families are also invited to take part in a litter pick at Sizewell on August 12 when there is a chance to also learn about the cycle of litter, how it ends up in the sea, how long it takes to break down and the environmental impacts.

William Wright and Ellis Cheek searching for sea creatures at the Wild Beach event in Felixstowe. P

William Wright and Ellis Cheek searching for sea creatures at the Wild Beach event in Felixstowe. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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