LOVEmyBEACH has joined forces with local artist, Sandymental, to tackle the mounting problem of beach litter plaguing our coastline in a novel way. A giant piece of sand art, measuring 25 metres, was created at Bispham on Friday urging beach goers to ‘leave only footprints’.
Increased visitor numbers to the Fylde Coast in the recent good weather has resulted in higher levels of litter than normal and unfortunately, much of this has been left behind on beaches. Despite more bins and signage, an army of volunteer beach cleaners and social media campaigns urging visitors to dispose of their litter responsibly, some people haven’t taken the message on board!
LOVEmyBEACH and Sandymental knew something more needed to be done to tackle the problem. Wanting to grab people’s attention in a different way, a 25 metre sand drawing was hard to miss.
The piece was created by Ben Higginson, taking 10 hours from design to completion. The drawing was designed at home on paper first and then Ben headed to the beach with a rake and began with 4 large circles, used as reference points. With the outline in the sand, next comes the detail alongside plenty of prayers that a dog doesn’t run across the drawing.
It was third time lucky for this design, after weather and tides put the earlier attempts on hold.
Sandymental are brother and sister due, Ben and Jax Higginson, who began the sand drawings as a therapeutic way to help their mental health. Their main aim is to raise awareness of mental health, whilst bringing a smile to people’s faces during lockdown, giving hope to others and inspiring a bit of creativity. Sandymental’s work captured the public’s attention in April with a large tribute to the NHS.
Ben says: “It’s nice to get out in the fresh air and speak to people about my art and the reasons for doing it. It helps when the sun shines, but sometimes it is nice to be on the beach alone in bad weather to clear your mind.”
LOVEmyBEACH officer Emily Parr commented “I was so impressed when I saw some of Sandymental’s designs online, that I knew it would be great if LOVEmyBEACH could collaborate on an anti-littering piece. When I spoke to Ben it was great to hear that he cared so much about the beach environment and was happy to create a bespoke piece for LOVEmyBEACH.”
“This piece of art was another way to keep the conversation going around the need to take your litter home and leave only footprints at the beach. It certainly captured people’s attention as pictures of the sand art were shared widely on social media before it had even been finished!”
Ben says, “It seemed appropriate to do a piece on litter given the vast numbers of people visiting the Fylde Coast and to help gently remind people that all it takes is a little effort form each person to help keep our beaches clean.”
If you have been inspired to create your own sand art encouraging people to take their litter home, please do share pictures online with LOVEmyBEACH.