Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Spectacular starfish

Rachael Wright, Seasonal Education Officer

As part of national marine week we have been hosting a whole range of marine events including, rockpooling at West Runton, sea dipping at NWT Holme Dunes, and species sketching and guided walks at NWT Cley Marshes.

One of the events at Cley Marshes last weekend was Coastal Creations. We started off by exploring the strandline along the shingle beach to see what creatures from our underwater world the waves had washed in. It’s great to take the time to look between, or on the seaweed in the strandline to discover a variety of treasures. There were plenty of cockle shells, dog whelk egg cases, skate egg cases, hornwrack and crabs legs. We sat down to share our finds and learn about these fascinating creatures.

Inspired by what they had seen the children made their own sea creatures on the beach. Initially a shingle beach appears quite a difficult place to make art compared to the sand sculptures we are often more used to creating. But the children made some great creatures using different coloured pebbles. After a bit of practice we all grouped together to make a giant starfish. 

Making beach art is a great activity to do with the family, no resources or equipment is needed and it’s environmentally friendly. The giant starfish we created is high above the strandline, and will hopefully be there for a while, for visitors to enjoy. If you’re visiting Cley, then take a trip to the beach to have a look, and maybe have a go yourself.

This summer is the summer of starfish and we are encouraging children to show their support for the protection of our seas by sending a starfish pledge to David Cameron. This is a great opportunity for children to be involved in marine conservation and help to make a real difference to the health of our seas. You can download your own starfish or come along to one of our events where we will be completing starfish and we may even be lucky enough to see some starfish in their natural habitat. 

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