Marine fun at the Thameside Nature Park

THE Essex coast spans 350 miles, making it arguably the longest coastline in the UK. There is everything from 70-foot high cliffs, meandering marshes running along our mighty estuaries, wildlife-rich tidal mudflats and a variety of sand and shingle beaches to enjoy. The Essex coast is a haven for people and a whole array of wildlife.

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Every year, Essex Wildlife Trust dedicates the month of August to ‘Marine Month’, where the public are encouraged to flock to the seas to explore what that lives there and learn more about the wildlife that uses our coast and how to protect it.

Rachel Langley, Living Seas Coordinator at Essex Wildlife Trust, says: “With school holidays upon us it’s a great time for people to head to the beach. We have so much going on during Marine Month that there is something for everyone and we hope more people will be inspired by discovering what wildlife can be found on the Essex coastline and learning about all the different ways that they can protect it.”

To celebrate, Essex Wildlife Trust are hosting events across Essex for children, families and adults.

Upcoming marine-themed events

To find out more about events or to book your place, visit www.essexwt.org.uk/events

Marine wildlife and fisheries of the Thames

· Fri 2 Aug, 11am-1pm, Belfairs Woodland Centre, Leigh-on-Sea (SS9 4LR)

· Thu 8 Aug, 11am-1pm, Thurrock Thameside Nature Park, Stanford-le-Hope (SS17 0RN)

Join Essex Wildlife Trust and local industry representatives for a free talk to learn about the marine wildlife and fisheries of the Thames Estuary.

Beach Combing and Play

Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre, Colchester, CO5 7DN

· Sun 4 Aug, 10am-midday & 1pm-3pm

· Tue 6 Aug, 10am-midday & 1.30pm-3.30pm

· Tue 20 Aug, 10am-midday & 1.30pm-3.30pm

Search the shoreline, build sandcastles, find crabs and more! Suggested donation £6 per child.

Shark crazy!

The Naze Centre, Old Hall Lane, Walton-on-the-Naze, CO14 8LE

· Mon 5 Aug, 10am-midday

· Mon 12 Aug, 3pm-4.30pm

· Mon 19 Aug, 10am-midday

· Mon 26 Aug, 3pm-4.30pm

An activity filled session all about sharks! Have a go at our shark trail, play shark themed games, make some shark crafts and hunt for sharks teeth. Suggested donation £5 per child.

Coastal clean up

Bradwell Shell Bank nature reserve, East End Road, Bradwell on Sea, CM0 7PN

· Wed 7 Aug, from 10am

Help protect marine wildlife by joining a coastal clean-up.

Family Seashore Discovery

The Naze Centre, Old Hall Lane, Walton-on-the-Naze, CO14 8LE

· Thu 8 Aug, 10.30am-midday

· Sat 10 Aug, 2pm-2.30pm

· Sun 11 Aug, 2pm-3.30pm

· Thu 22 Aug, 9.30am-11am

· Tue 27 Aug, 2.30pm-4pm

Learn all about our seashore wildlife and what you will find in Essex then go on a hunt for plants and animals living on the Naze seashore. Suggested donation £3 per person.

Sizzling Seashore

Bedfords Park Visitor Centre, Broxhill Road, Havering-atte-Bower, RM4 1QH

· Sat 10 Aug-Fri 23 Aug, 9am-4pm

Follow our trail around the park to find out what sizzles on the seashore.

Wildfest

Thurrock Thameside Nature Park, Stanford-le-Hope, SS17 0RN

· Saturday 17 Aug, 10.30am-5.30pm

Rewild your child at Essex Wildlife Trust’s children’s festival, packed with activities throughout the day. There will be workshops all day including: firelighting and cooking, pewter smelting, slime making, potions and spells, flying fish windsock and rockpool creatures. Suggested donation £3.50 per workshop, £5 entry fee.

Marine Land Art Day

Thorndon Countryside Centre, Brentwood, CM13 3RZ

· Thu 22 Aug, 10.30am-2pm

Drop in and celebrate our marine life and remember to protect it by creating recyclable land art. Bring your own clean recycling and join in!

Marine Wildlife Celebration Day

The Naze Centre, Old Hall Lane, Walton-on-the-Naze, CO14 8LE

· Saturday 24 August, 10am – 4pm

Join us for a fun-filled day of activities to celebrate our coastal and marine wildlife. There will be a Shoresearch survey, a guided walk of John Weston nature reserve, a Scavenger Hunt, a beach clean and the unveiling of our exciting new seal sculpture!

To find out more, visit www.essexwt.org.uk/marine-month

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