Follow Your Curiosity: Capturing Our Coast

Purple Top Shell Sketch - Carrie SandersonA while ago I decided to do some volunteering. I wanted to get involved with a project that would inspire me and give me a chance to give back somehow. There were the obvious choices for me – since I love wildlife and nature, I felt it would have to be in that arena! – such as walking the dogs at a local shelter or volunteering days out with the National Trust. I was thinking about them for a while and while they are worthwhile my imagination wasn’t quite “captured” by them.

Enter “Capturing Our Coast”.

I first stumbled across this project through one of my friends, Florine of World Adventure Divers, who had shared on Facebook a link to Bangor University and more information about this particular project in the UK. It piqued my curiosity and I followed it. I clicked through and whilst reading the first couple of paragraphs I knew I was hooked.

Capturing Our Coast, or CoCoast for short, aims to engage “members of the public in collecting records of marine species along the UK coasts. Scientists and volunteers together will also conduct studies that explore how our habitats and species are being affected by climate change and other human impacts.” (taken from their training day cover letter)

This would combine a few of my passions: wildlife, nature, science, love for the outdoors, a chance to contribute towards conservation, policy and research, and so much more. I also saw in my mind how I could combine time spent outside along the coast surveying with taking photos and making sketches for a whole new art project. I was excited to say the least.

I registered for more information and then signed up to a training day in North Berwick on the East Lothian coast, which was the other Saturday. I was not disappointed.

Bass Rock, North Berwick Sketch - Carrie SandersonI am pleased I listened to my inner voice and curiosity and then took the necessary steps to find out more, attend the training day and shape my work around/with it. This to me feels like creativity and using my creativity and self-expression to create another something meaningful and fulfilling in my life.

Over the coming months I will keep you posted about the project, my art work and writing as a result. Look forward to sharing this adventure with you!

In the meantime I have already done a couple of sketches as a result of attending the training day. See above photos.

If you’d like to find out more about the project, please visit

Especially potential volunteers in Scotland as there is only a small team covering the whole of the Scottish coastline and they are in need of lots of helpers!

Please note the project is only operating in the UK.

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