Beach School returns to Harwich to teach environmental issues

FAMILIES were able to enjoy a day and learn about important coastal topics during a special educational week.

More than 150 children, parents, grandparents and caregivers from Home-Start Harwich have joined Harwich Haven Authority’s Beach School initiative to learn more about their surroundings.

Working with a beach school-trained elementary teacher, the authority offered three days of free activities that included learning about the ships that arrive at Haven Ports each day.

A Harwich Haven Authority spokeswoman said: ‘Our organizational vision is very focused on the environment, community and employment, so our beach schools are very much aligned with these three pillars of our strategy. .

“Harwich Home Start provides a vital service to the town which is used by several hundred families and we were delighted to fund and implement this initiative.”

During the event, children had the opportunity to build and navigate cardboard boats through the deep water canal that leads to Harwich Harbour.

Many beach school activities were environmentally related and family members examined and discussed microplastics, sustainability, invasive species, marine habitats and ocean litter.

Topics were presented in a fun and engaging way by conservationist and teacher Libby Scarfe who runs the Dovercourt-based Seaside Explorers initiative.

In support of the national Holiday Hunger Scheme, the authority also provided all family members with a hot pizza lunch followed by popsicles.

Wendy Taylor, director of Home Start Harwich, praised the Harwich Haven Authority for the scheme.

She said: ‘The beach school started last summer when the Harwich Haven authority was kind enough to fund us a session with Libby Scarfe.

“It was a great success and this year we held three day sessions where the authority learned more about what Home Start does and were keen to help.

“Our referral rate has tripled in the last 18 months, so many families need help and we are very grateful for this support.”