Partnership project harnesses the passion of young artists to protect our precious habitat
The coastline of Northumberland is to be made even more colourful this summer following a competition by National Grid’s North Sea Link that allowed local geography students to explore their creative side.
The team, which is building the world’s longest subsea interconnector, partnered with Northumberland County Council and The Fifth Point Diving Centre to inspire pupils at Bedlington Academy to design a series of educational signs to be placed along a stretch of coast in the south east of the county.
Eight prizes have been presented to the Year 9 and 10 pupils, who submitted artwork representing their thoughts and views on the beaches and marine life in the local area, with five winning images chosen from the entries to illustrate the signs.
Their work will be immortalised to help protect the Cambois coast and the overall winner, Johnathan Johnson, aged 13, will soon get to experience scuba diving with The Fifth Point, which donated the experience as first prize.
Five signs in total will also feature work by students Katie Thornton, 13, Ryan Weatheritt, 15, Robbie Best, 15, and Josie Blackwood, 14, each of whom has been presented with a prize of Amazon vouchers courtesy of North Sea Link. Three runners up, Joe Tully, Aiden Forrest and Adam Murray, will also receive vouchers from the county council.
The artwork illustrates messages about respecting the environment and encouraging visitors to leave it unspoilt, along with useful information about what to do if they come across animals in distress. This follows extensive work carried out by North Sea Link to improve access and facilities at Cambois beach, including extending the car park, constructing new pathways that leave dunes undisturbed, and creating a vegetation area to encourage more wildlife.
North Sea Link Site Manager Mike James said: “The students at Bedlington Academy really embraced this challenge and we’re really proud to work with local organisations to display their talent for all to see with these informative and inspiring signs.
“We share the group’s passion for protecting the local environment in Cambois and hope the beach continues to give them as much pleasure as their enthusiasm has given us for generations to come. We'd particularly like to thank the council and The Fifth Point Diving Centre for their support for this project.”
Joanna Lamb, Head of School at Bedlington Academy added: “We’re thrilled that work by our geography students is to feature in such an important local initiative, and they can be very proud of the hugely positive influence their efforts will have in the community.
“Thank you to all those that took part and to all three organisations for their generous prizes.”
Due to become operational at the end of this year, North Sea Link is a subsea interconnector stretching 450 miles from the Northumberland coast to Norway, enabling enough clean energy exchange to power almost a million and a half homes.