Touching the Tide worked with a number of partners to deliver different programmes in schools.
Eastfeast is a team of professional gardeners, artists and teachers. They offered schools the opportunity to explore the uniqueness of the changing Suffolk coastline and the importance of local food production and enterprise to the area, through the arts and horticulture.
This is what they said about their project: “We were looking at coastal change, our local coastal environment and coastal Suffolk food production. We responded to our initial visit to the coast, and as a way to encourage discussion and thoughtfulness around the issues of coastal change, by creating art installations, paintings, drawings and coastal gardens (see picture below). We shut our eyes and remembered the sounds we heard of the sea, the shingle and the wind, we remembered the feeling of the wind in our hair and pebbles under our feet. We drew the plants that we saw and the houses on the cliffs and the views out to sea. We created miniature land and seascapes with sand dunes, stone gabions, wooden fencing and board walks… the experiences of being at the coast were transferred into paintings and drawings, labyrinth building, clay shell making and plaster sculptures, music composition and soundscapes, willow work and mini coastal gardens. Each project had an enterprise strand, often inspired by local food production (juice, jam and cake making) and by reproducing images of their paintings and sculptures and making cards to sell.” Lovely!
RSPB Minsmere offered an opportunity to investigate reserve management, visitor pressures and coastal erosion, as well as carry out practical field study techniques, surveys and conservation tasks. Touching the Tide helped to develop new learning opportunities and subsidize transport costs to Minsmere. (See picture at top of page.)
Suffolk Wildlife Trust offered "Wild Beach" sessions to nine primary schools. They discovered and studied marine and coastal wildlife and ecology (see picture below), coastal changes, tides and weather, and the impacts we can all have on the wildlife of the shoreline. The programme was based on hands-on activities whilst building knowledge and skills and facilitating learning. The legacy of the project has been to foster a sense of conservation of their local coastal area within young people. The cross curricular program also enabled them to be creative both artistically and in their writing. The coast was used as a tool to ‘inspire’ them to truly observe nature and feel ownership. There was also a teacher training element where eighteen teachers were empowered to use the coast as a learning resource. One teacher said the programme was “An inspiration of ideas”. As a result of this very successful project Suffolk Wildlife Trust has now incorporated coastal work into their next five year strategy.