Festival of Creativity & the Environment

On Thursday 16th November 2024, Over 100 young people from across our partnership came together with key members of the Environment Agency, The local authority and members of the House of Lords select committee plus other leading environmentalists to spend a day looking at the effects of global warming and coastal erosion, the event was focused around the EA’s 100 year plan for the Pevensey to Eastbourne stretch of coast.

In the morning the young people were treated to a programme of workshops including the opportunity to see what would happen to our flood defences, other workshops looked at natural solutions to the flood defences (such as building oyster reefs to act a breakwater) and possible careers in environmental fields.

“I have learned that I can get paid to go to University, do my apprenticeship, get a car and a digger license!”

“I like the VR, it was interesting to actually watch the coast flooding and the damage afterwards.”

“Love the people, (Environment Agency, JBA, PixelMills, DEFRA) they are so welcoming, the guy with the sand was so funny and they all involve you in everything.”

“All really engaging”

“It was fun drawing on the flood map, we drew pirate ships and learned how sea levels rising will affect Eastbourne and the surrounding areas.”

“My favourite part was operating the wave machines!”

A focus group of young people from St Catherine’s College contributed to discussion with the chair of the House of Lords select committee, Baroness Parminter and Lord Lucas. “The CSP has made a signal success out of its interaction with the House of Lords and now the Environment Agency; connecting children to nature is of national importance, and Eastbourne is taking a lead.” _ Lord Ralph Lucas.

In the afternoon Ben Wolstenholme from moving brands and Made Fire ran an interactive workshop looking at creative solutions to the coastline and its defences.

Next steps will be the drawing together of a group of young people to help to continue the narrative around the coastal defence project.

“The Pevensey Bay to Eastbourne Coastal Management Scheme is one of the largest flood coastal and erosion risk management projects in the country, planning to make this area of coastline resilient to the pressures we are facing with coastal flooding and erosion over the next 100 years. Working with the Coastal School Partnership has been a hugely valuable experience for the project team, enabling us to work with the students to share information about the scheme but also to importantly listen to their views on what they would like to see from their coastline now and in the future. As we progress with the project’s development, we continue to look forward to working with the Coastal School Partnership students to shape a resilient coastline together.” _ Louise Parker | Pevensey Bay to Eastbourne Coastal Management Programme – Senior Advisor

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