Seaside trips take on new meaning for youngsters

Coastal classroom gives young people new learning experience

Students from Overton Grange School learning about marine ecology on Reculver Beach

Students from Overton Grange School learning about marine ecology on Reculver Beach

London 13th July: More than 800 school children are part of a unique outdoor education experience this year involving the marine and coastal environment.

The Coast Explorer programme takes school children and youth groups to the coast to educate them about coastal habitats through activities on the seashore, as well as climate change and wind energy by focusing on the Kentish Flats offshore wind farm at a special site in Reculver in Kent. They are able to discover first-hand how the coast and marine environment is an important resource and also learn about the increasing threats to our seas. For many of the school children it is their first ever visit to the coast.

P1 Marine Foundation Projects Manager Sabrina Taseer said; “As we still face serious threats to the marine and coastal environment, including pollution, loss of biodiversity and ocean acidification, it is important that we educate the next generation about the importance of conserving and protecting it for the future and give them the opportunity to develop a relationship with the coastal environment.”

In partnership with The Crown Estate, Vattenfall and Canterbury City Council, P1 Marine Foundation offers schools and youth groups the opportunity to take part in the programme at no cost to the participants so that young people from any background aged 8 to 14 can experience interactive multi-sensory sessions on marine ecology, climate change and renewable energy.

This year the programme has over 50% more students taking part than last year from up to 30 schools and youth groups within a 40 mile radius, including inner city London as well as Kent and its coastal communities.

Olivia Thomas, Senior Marine Policy Manager at The Crown Estate, said: “Our beaches and seabed are an invaluable resource, whether that’s through diverse natural habitats or enabling offshore renewable energy. The P1 Marine Foundation has a crucial role in inspiring the next generation to treasure the coastal environment and contribute to its sustainable development over the long term.”

Plans for 2016 will show the programme expanding to enable at least 1500 young people to benefit from the experience.