Science at the Seaside

New project engages children in Devon’s coastal heritage

At this time of year a trip to the beach may not be at the forefront of your mind, but a collaborative project from Bath Spa and Exeter Universities might just have you reaching for a bucket and spade.

If you thought that the Victorian seaside was just about Punch and Judy, promenades, and amusement machines, think again. Before the heyday of Devon’s tourist resorts, its coast was a place of discovery and inspiration, somewhere to visit and enjoy a hands-on engagement with the environment. And this project wants to celebrate the rich history of scientific and literary writing about the North Devon coast.

‘Science at the Seaside: Pleasure Hunts in North Devon’ aims to increase public awareness of the rich history of 19th-century literary and scientific writing about the North Devon coast, and the role that figures like George Eliot, Philip Gosse and others played in the growth of popular interest in science and natural history in the period.

The workshops provide a series of free school sessions on writing and place in Devon, with a focus on the local coastal environment. They primarily have a literary focus but with a scientific component, and can be adjusted to the curricular needs of your school.

For more information on the project, the school workshops, the teachers’ training days, or the e-learning resource, please contact Kyriaki Hadjiafxendi (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) or John Plunkett (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).

Alternatively, head to to learn more about the project and pick up some ideas for your classroom.

You can also follow @ScienceSeaside on Twitter for new developments on the project.

Pie Corbett