Sailing the entire UK coastline to reconnect people with maritime heritage, culture, and identity.
When: 15th September 2015 – 30th November 2019
Where: Entire UK Coastline
What: Sail Britain is a unique sailing project to explore the British coastline through shared experience, cross-disciplinary creativity, and engagement with communities. We reconnect people with the UK’s maritime heritage, culture and identity, and highlight the extraordinary beauty of our coastal environment.
Who: Oliver Beardon and Elsa Hammond
Links: Expedition Website
We use a sailing boat as our platform for exploring the coastline and will undertake a multi-leg circumnavigation of the British Isles over 7 months. We sail with cross disciplinary groups of artists, scientists, writers and others whose work as part of our ‘Coastline Project’ is building a unique portrait of the entire coastline of the British Isles through their different disciplines. We believe this is a unique approach to the study of our coastline from a cultural, historical and environmental viewpoint, and facilitates both individual and collaborative projects.
You don’t need to jump on a long haul flight to find adventure. For a relatively small area, the coastline of the British Isles offers an extraordinary diversity of landscapes, wildlife, habitats, and human geography, yet it is often overlooked in favour of more far-flung and exotic locations. We are challenging this view and showing that Britain too offers incredible discovery and world-class adventure.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
To celebrate the diversity of our coastline from multidisciplinary viewpoints and share it with a wider audience through research, outreach activities and the creative arts.
To allow people to experience the coastline first hand through sail training.
To provide opportunities to people from a wide variety of backgrounds to work closely together and to develop new work, ideas and skills.
To engage with coastal communities to further understanding of our relationship with the sea.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Nothing beats direct experience to appreciate your environment. Providing an opportunity for people to actively engage with the sea and coastal communities will broaden people’s understanding of the importance and value of our coastal environment from a multidisciplinary perspective.
Britain’s shores face many of the same challenges affecting more high-profile locations; from Climate Change, eroding coastlines and marine plastic pollution, to over fishing and habitat loss. By better understanding and experiencing these issues close to home, we are better placed to finding solutions on a global scale.
ABOUT THE TEAM
Meet the Expedition Team
Oliver is also a fully qualified architect with a particular interest in low energy buildings and sustainable communities as well as a keen photographer, maker and adventurer.
An award-winning travel writer, Elsa has sailed from Samoa to Fiji, unicycled across England, carried out conservation work in the jungles of Borneo, and spent 51 days rowing alone on the Pacific Ocean.
Whilst rowing on the Pacific she worked as a citizen scientist in partnership with ASC, taking samples of seawater for research into microplastics. She has delivered countless talks and workshops across three continents, and has appeared on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour.
Elsa is an Oxford graduate and is currently working towards a PhD in the poetry of Coleridge, Tennyson and Hardy at the University of Bristol. Alongside this she writes poetry and swims outdoors all year round. In 2015 she co-authored the award-winning Wild Guide to Southern and Eastern England, and is enjoying focusing her attention on the wild land and seascapes of the UK.
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