On a sunny day, a group of children are stood on a sandy beach with a group leader, looking at the sand with a list in their hands, whilst taking part in a scavenger hunt during the Love Your Beach event organised by Active Devon and North Devon School Games Organiser.

Local Young People Attend Love Your Beach Event at Saunton Sands

Over 50 students, who may not have had the chance to experience a day at the beach before, attended a ‘Love Your Beach’ event at Saunton Sands. Organised by Active Devon and the North Devon School Games Organiser, the event provided the chance for young people to learn about their green and blue spaces and appreciate their local environment, be more active outdoors and of course to have lots of fun.

Working alongside Plastic Free North Devon, Community Environmental Educational Therapy CIC (CEET) and Saunton Sands Surf Life Saving Club, the day offered the chance to engage in beach games and scavenger hunt, beach art, beach walks and the chance to learn valuable beach safety skills.

Lisa Alford from Active Devon said:

“Despite being less than six miles from their schools, some of the young people who were involved had never had the opportunity to experience a day at the beach. We wanted to give them a unique opportunity to learn about and enjoy Devon’s green and blue spaces, promote the benefits of being active outdoors and give them chance to appreciate their natural environment firsthand. As well as the amazing activities which got them moving and exploring the beach, they also got the chance to sit inside a traditional beach hut and enjoy a well-earned ice-cream!”

Around 50 young people from Ashleigh Primary School, Eden Park Primary, Pilton Bluecoat Junior and Yeo Valley Primary School in Barnstaple attended the day. Not only was it a positive experience for the young participants, but Eco Young Leaders from Pilton school were also involved, helping to inspire those attending on initiatives relating to the environment.

CEET CIC’s Schools Education Lead, Ella de la Cour said:

“Love Your Beach Day provided an amazing opportunity for local children to explore that the beach is for everyone; no matter your interests, abilities or age there is an activity for you! Be it surfing, natural art, rock pooling or beach cleaning.

“With some of them never visiting the beach before, sharing that there is so much more to it than just sea and sand was truly important. The outdoors has a huge impact on our mental and physical wellbeing and watching the young people experience this firsthand was simply magical.”

Ben Pounds, Chair of Saunton Sands Surf Life Saving Club said:

“It was great to see so many kids interested in what we do as a club and it was our pleasure to share with them the activities and opportunities clubs like ours can provide, hopefully it will inspire them to maybe take up the sport of surf life saving and enjoy the beautiful surroundings Devon offers.”

Claire Moodie, Plastic Free North Devon said:

”Exploring the strandline and rockpools for signs of how oceans circulate, create conditions for biodiversity to flourish and provide half of the oxygen we breathe, was an absolute delight. Active Devon did a great job in bringing together local charities to not only showcase our wonderful area but build knowledge, understanding and passion, as well highlighting all the ways our local children can have fun, explore, keep their brains and bodies healthy and protect what they love.”

A group of children stood on the beach on a sunny day with the sea in the distance, are learning valuable beach safety skills as they watch and listen to members of the Surf Life Saving Club during a Love Your Beach event at Saunton Sands, organised by Active Devon North Devon School Games Organiser.

Active Devon’s Lisa adds:

“We wanted to offer more than a one-off experience and also engage with the families of the young people involved. This beach was chosen as it is on the bus route for these young people and their families. As part of the event, we partnered with the local bus service provider, Stagecoach, to offer those attending a free North Devon Day Rider bus ticket, so they could return back as a family and continue to enjoy its beauty.”