Schools to be given a free book, celebrating the art and heritage of the local shores, created by pupils from across the Highlands

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A free book has been launched inspiring young readers about Scotland’s coast featuring a selection of artwork, stories and poems in English and Gaelic by Highland school pupils. Copies of the paperback book, ‘Beside the Sea’ are to be given out to all Highland schools.

The Highland Seashore Biodiversity Project, which aims to raise awareness of the fantastic wildlife that inhabits out coasts, ran a successful competition in 2014 with Highland schools. Together this competition allowed for the creation of inspiring art, stories and poems about the seashore and its wildlife. 

Run by The Highland Council on behalf of the Highland Environment Forum, with funding from Scottish Natural Heritage, Highland Council, the Crown Estate and the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Seashore Project has proven to be a great success, and has helped schools across the Highlands to develop and expand their knowledge and teachings in relation to both biodiversity and Gaelic.

The competition received an impressive 724 entries from 27 Highland schools. The depth of work showed not only the rich variety of wildlife seen on Highland coasts, but also the fun that can be had on the shore and the inspiration that it gives. 

Janet Bromham, Local Biodiversity Officer for the Highland Council, said: “To celebrate the success of the competition, the project is launching a published paperback book, dedicated to the entrants and to the Scottish home language, Gaelic. The book which will be freely distributed to Highland schools aims to encourage children to learn more about not only their local coastline but also their national language, Gaelic, helping children to learn and inspiring futures.”

The book displays 182 winning and highly commended entries. Although judges of the competition appreciated many more entries, the project is sorry to announce that not all of pieces of wonderful art and writing would fit in the paperback volume.

Highland Seashore Biodiversity Project are giving a huge thank you to the Teachers and Countryside Rangers who inspired their pupils and sent in the entries, and to the teams of judges for their time and thought in carrying out the challenging task of picking the winners, allowing for this educational book to be produced. They are especially grateful to everyone who took part, asking them to: “Keep on creating!”

The Books ‘Beside the Sea’ will be sent to every school in the Highlands for free. 

The Highland Biodiversity Partnership manages the Highland Seashore Project behind the competition and the book. The Highland Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Crown Estate Marine Stewardship Fund and Scottish Natural Heritage fund the project. Launched at the beginning of 2013 it is a three yearlong project that has worked with local coastal communities around the Highlands. The project has had an active two and a half years of providing resources for shore-based events, road shows, festivals and workshops to celebrate the heritage and nature of the shores.  The Seashore Festival at Kyle of Lochalsh, 16th May, attracted over 250 people, with associated events all around Lochalsh resulting in over 379 people being involved in celebrations which included sustainable seafood, shore walks, seaweed identification, music, story telling, art and so much more. 

With 42 Seashore events over the last two years and 86 Seashore Surveyors actively surveying the wildlife of their local shores, the project is gearing up for more in its last year:  

Up coming Beach days with The Highland Council Countryside Ranger Service

  • 11th July events for the Ullapool Round the Pier Day
  • 17th July, Nairn Links Roadshow all day
  • 31st July, Beauly Firth
  • 29th August, Seashore Day, with the Summer Isles Festival
  • 21st to 25th September, Wick Seashore Festival

If you are feeling inspired by all things Seashore check out the project Facebook page at Highland Seashore Biodiversity Project Facebook for the Photo competition, where the winner is selected by the number of ‘Likes’ their picture gains. The winner will receive a Veho Muvio camera.








17 Jun 2015
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