Making a clean start: Creative Conservation team head for the beach

HTP Beach Clean Group

“We wanted to make a difference to the environment.”

HTP Apprenticeship College learners have been taking part in the ‘Great British Beach Clean’.

Students enrolled on our Creative Conservation programme headed for three Island beaches, armed with bin bags and clipboards, noting down the things they collected as part of a project that they had designed.

They visited Appley Beach, Thorness Bay and Fort Victoria and earlier this month. It’s the first of many projects for the Creative Conservation cohort who started their one-year course in September.

“Our students chose and devised this project,” says HTP tutor Claire Dean-Parker. “We’re on an island surrounded by beaches, so it’s been a great learning experience but also proactive. The litter on our beaches is a stark reminder of the harm we can do to the planet. I think our two beach cleans have raised the awareness of the wider world around us as well as showing that we can have a positive impact too.”

To prepare for their Beach Clean the students devised detailed data collection sheets to log the waste that they would collect. They planned their activity, including Health & Safety considerations and the equipment that they would use.

“We wanted to make a difference to the environment,” says learner Jayden Cooper. “Our project really showed how bad our beaches can be if we don’t make an effort to keep them clean. We found a lot of fast food boxes, a lot of plastic and cans. It makes me feel bad for the environment when I see the litter on the beach. It felt good to help clean up. It’s very different to being at school. I’ve always liked working outdoors and this project helped us with our team work skills too.”

The two beach cleans provided a topical aspect to the HTP Creative Conservation programme, which delivers real-life skills for practical learners. As part of their one year course, students will build confidence and self-development, taking in the natural environment, horticulture, nature walks, wildlife protection and much more.

“Our learners chose the beaches that they wanted to visit and they were keen to take part in the Great British Beach Clean campaign, organised across the country by the Marine Conservation Society,” says Claire Dean-Parker. “It’s great for us to be able to take part in a national initiative because it adds value to our teaching, highlighting the relevance of our project work. We also picked up some very positive comments from people in the community whilst we were working, which made our day.”

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