Partnership project harnesses passion of pupils to protect precious Northumberland coastline

Artistic students are bringing a touch of added colour to Northumberland’s coastline this summer.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 8:00 am
From left: North Sea Link site manager Mike James with The Fifth Point Diving Centre co-founder Nic Emery, Coastal Warden Arthur Cranson, and Bedlington Academy pupils Ryan Weatheritt and Robbie Best with their designs.

National Grid’s North Sea Link set up a competition for local geography students to design a series of educational signs to be placed along a stretch of coast in the south east of the county.

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.

Eight prizes were presented to 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 to illustrate the signs.

Their work will be immortalised to help protect the Cambois coast and the overall winner, Johnathan Johnson, 13, will 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 received 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.

North Sea Link Site Manager Mike James said: “The students 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.”