Sustainable Development Fund
Case Studies: Beach Bonkers
Beach Bonkers was founded by Kate Osborne in 2016 to inspire people about Suffolk’s shingle beaches through sustainable beachcombing. This habitat, seemingly so common in Suffolk, is internationally rare and surprisingly fragile.
In 2021 Beach Bonkers was awarded £1,144 from the Sustainable Development Fund to help subsidise people who might otherwise find it hard to get to the beach (or enjoy beachcombing activities) because of transport/cost difficulties.
Kate says, “I have so many favourite moments from this work. For one student from a Pupil Referral Unit, it was their first full day of education in years. Another student and I rescued a jellyfish together which was stranded on the beach.
On another beachcomb, someone with very limited mobility couldn’t bend over so I would scoop up handfuls of small stones so he could beachcomb them.
I also took a shingle mini beach to several Suffolk libraries so people could beachcomb and hunt for fossil sharks’ teeth. I loved the two teenage boys who rather hesitantly in a-we-are-too-cool-for-this kind of way decided to hunt for sharks' teeth and then patiently found two each - lovely! It’s their hands in the picture.
At another library session, two little ones, who’d never been to the beach before being fostered, spent ages hunting for treasures on the beach.
The Sustainable Development Fund also allowed me to offer subsidised tickets for my public beachcombs. I received an email afterwards from someone who came along, “coping with ME/cfs and 2 teenagers, and on a low income I don't get much opportunity to pay to do things I really enjoy just for me. So that ticket gave me the chance to learn more about the beautiful coast.”
You can read more about Beach Bonkers beachcombing activities at www.beachbonkers.org.uk.