Press Office


North East life through a lens

A book which captures the beauty of the region’s coastline through the eyes of the people who live there is being launched by Newcastle University.

‘Sea Change NE’ was a year-long project led by the Dove Marine Laboratory to coincide with the University’s Sustainability Societal Challenge Theme launch year.  Running throughout 2011, the aim was to encourage local people to record how the coast is being used and enjoyed 365 days of the year.

Capturing the seasonal changes, festivals and key events through photographs, drawings and poems, the team sifted through over 4,000 entries to pull together the final book which goes on sale today.

Project lead Susan Gebbels, based in the School of Marine Science and Technology, said:  “We have been genuinely overwhelmed with the response - not only by the quantity of submissions but also the quality and diversity of the contributions.

“The original aim was to encourage young people to engage with their local environment but over the year we have received entries from people of all ages from Berwick down to Teesside.

“Our seas and coastlines are not only beautiful, they are also important to the ecology of our planet and to our economy.  This book is not just about the pictures – it’s about getting us all to think about the sea and what we are doing to it, how it is changing and how we might all work to protect it.”

To ensure young people had an opportunity to contribute, the team kick started the project in January 2011 by inviting 12 different schools to take part; including Cullercoats Primary School, Berwick Middle School and the MacMillan Academy in Middlesbrough.

“We asked each school to produce work that represented how their school is connected with their local coast,” explains Annie Cunningham, Newcastle University’s Marine Education Officer.  “Each school was allocated a month and their work has been included at the start of each chapter.”

Images include dramatic sea shots, family snaps and pictures of our industrial heritage as well as drawings and poems from the participating school children.

Funded by Newcastle University and Durham Heritage Coast, all the profits from the sales of the book will go to The Natural History Society of Northumbria to help fund their work engaging families and young people with the natural world.

published on: 12 March 2012