Environment & Community Exhibition

Brightlingsea Regatta Arts & Crafts Trail will feature a very special exhibition about our environment and community. This will be located in the Cadet Room at Brightlingsea Sailing Club and the displays will include contributions from the following:

Brightlingsea Beach School – Brightlingsea Beach School was started by Juliette Heppell because she is passionate about children learning Science through play. And what better way to understand habitats, environment, tides, wind and other weather patterns than by playing on the beach?

Each session is set up with a number of different activities. The session itself is unstructured – children choose what they are interested in doing and are then guided through some of the activities or asked questions to help promote learning
whilst they are playing.

Typically in the first one or two sessions, children are mostly fascinated (or horrified) by the mud, and generally want to run around. Just being on a beach is part of the experience. However, they soon become taken with baby crab hunting, pond dipping and the many experiments too. Juliette runs a number of different sessions. The pre school sessions are Tuesday mornings (10-11.30) and Thursday afternoons (1-2.30). Juliette also works with vulnerable adults and children, and runs school days out too.

The Beach School exhibition on the Regatta Arts & Crafts Trail will include creative work completed by the children and you can also inspect the Beach School’s fish tank, where you will find a selection of the creatures the children have caught or found during their projects – who knew there were so many fascinating things living in Brightlingsea Creek! More info


Essex Beach & River Clean-Ups – Artist Sarah Jane Hazelton is the driving force behind this initiative which aims to bring awareness to and cultivate a growing collection of beach and river cleaning events around Essex to keep reducing our environmental impact. Sarah organises beach cleans as a volunteer for the Marine Conservation Society, helping local residents get involved with protecting their environment and spreading awareness of plastic pollution.

At a beach clean in Brightlingsea on 6 July an amazing group of volunteers collected 2.6kg of litter from a seemingly clean beach in Brightlingsea. This beach is cleaned daily by Tendring Council, but sand is a great

illusionist and needs beady eyes to uncover it’s hidden treasures and dangers! Items included cigarette stubs, the dreaded wetwipes, fishing line, broken bits of plastic, plastic cotton bud sticks, sweet and food wrappers, bottle caps, toys… and more!

At another recent beach clean a shocking 413 cigarette stubs were collected from just 100m of beach. Filters do nothing but make the smoker feel healthier and they are mostly made of plastic (cellulose acetate) which takes many years to

break down. Even biodegradable filters still leach toxic chemicals from the treated tobacco into the environment which is why it’s so important we pick them up on our beach cleans. Many smokers are surprised to learn filters are made of plastic so do share this knowledge whenever you have the chance.

As an artist Sarah also encourages reuse of the items collected where possible into artworks. A recent beach clean art project saw the creation of a turtle made entirely from plastics picked up in one hour by ten Beachwatch volunteers on the beach next to Clacton Pier. The turtle went on to become something of a media star, appearing in a recent edition of the popular Essex Quest radio programme on BBC Essex.

On display in the Cadet Room at Brightlingsea Sailing Club will be images of the work being undertaken by this initiative and Sarah will be on hand to share information about the projects.

Sarah is also a contributor the the Essex Artists Travelling Sketch Books which will be on display in the Regatta Arts & Crafts Tent located next to Brightlingsea Sailing Club, so do pop into the tent and check out her work there too. Recent ceramics work by Sarah will also be on show in the Christine Storey Gallery during August, exploring interconnectedness and rhythm, reflecting the qualities of the water that surrounds us. Sarah’s evolving processes explore and test the natural properties of clay and make use of recycled-packaging forms.

Find out more about these projects and Sarah herself at the following links: