The Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park is the area between Sandilands and Chapel St. Leonards covering approximately eight kilometres of coastline. The event last Thursday (7 April) was an opportunity to pause and appreciate the spectacular wide open skies and seascape beyond, the dazzling delights of the sun, and the wildlife that lives along the Lincolnshire Coast.
Special guests at the event included: cloud guru Gavin Pretor-Pinney founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society; star-gazer and Lincolnshire-based astronomer, Paul Money; and wildlife experts Dave Miller, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, and John Walker, Natural England.
Photos (left to right): Gavin Pretor-Pinney at the Anderby Creek Cloud Bar, young stargazers safely viewing the sun, Huttoft Primary School enjoying Betty and Bert's Big Day Out. (photos by Andrew Rawlins)
Gazing into Lincolnshire’s big skies, Gavin Pretor-Pinney said: "The large open vistas of Lincolnshire with minimal obstructions create wonderful cloud watching conditions. Whilst you can gaze up to the clouds from anywhere, the Anderby Creek Cloud Bar is a reminder to appreciate those things in nature that are omnipresent, to take a moment to look afresh at what’s above you and appreciate the beauty and interest in every day nature."
Paul Money was also on hand to help people appreciate the beauty of something that is with us every day: the sun. Using specialist equipment, people were able to gaze on the sun without damaging their eyes and see the remarkable sights of sun spots and a solar prominence arching off the surface of the sun. Paul Money commented that we had been stargazing, viewing our nearest star: the sun.
Whilst you are watching the everyday, you never know when you may see something extraordinary. Dave Miller and John Walker were stationed in the Round-and-Round House with binoculars and telescopes for watching wildlife. On-lookers were delighted to see a marsh harrier drifting over the reedbeds and, just out to sea, a harbour porpoise. The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s coastal ranger, Dave Miller, said: "It’s always exciting to see a harbour porpoise; it’s a rare tantalizing glimpse of the wildlife that inhabits our Living Seas. The vast majority of our marine wildlife, including these large sea mammals, remains hidden from our view."
Children from Chapel St Leonards and Huttoft Primary School were entertained by Rhubarb Theatre’s “Betty and Bert’s Big Day Out” and their adventures on a remarkable day at the beach.
The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust has received £38,700 “Your Heritage” funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help communities learn about, look after and celebrate the heritage of the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park and Coastal Grazing Marshes.
With this funding the Wildlife Trust and partners are delivering a full programme of events in the Coastal Country Park, from Sandilands to Chapel St Leonards, including living history days, beach combing, storytelling and educational workshops; raise public awareness and understanding of the heritage value of the coast & grazing marsh; and promote opportunities for community involvement in the Country Park and Coastal Grazing Marshes.
Emma Sayer, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said: "These events are great opportunities for people to go along, explore the beautiful landscape of Lincolnshire’s Coast and Grazing Marshes and share in these wonderful views they offer. It is through activities like this that more people from across the community can get involved in their natural heritage, and ensure they will be valued and protected for many generations to come."
The next events in the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park programme are:
- Beach Spring Clean, 10.30am to 3.30pm on Wednesday 13 April at Chapel Point car park.
- A Midweek Ramble along Coastal Country Park footpaths, 10am on Thursday 21 April with the Skegness Ramblers. Meet at Sandilands Branch Line car park.
- Anderby Creek Easter Nature Trail, 1pm to 3pm on Friday 22 April (drop-in) at Anderby Creek car park.
Download the leaflet to see all the events:
Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park event programme