|Award winning artists have been taking the plunge to show the magic of our seas. The extraordinary work of the winners of The Wildlife Trusts’ Underwater Art Award goes on show in Dorset this month, highlighting the urgent need for Marine Conservation Zones.
A bursary for artists to work underwater
The award, established in Dorset in 2007 in association with the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA), provides a bursary for an established artist to learn to dive and then to work underwater off the coast, recording the wildlife of the sea in art. Works range from paintings to sculpture from around the coast of Britain to raise awareness of the plight of our marine life.
Peter Tinsley, Living Seas Manager at Dorset Wildlife Trust, who originated the award, said: “This is a unique chance to see our marine world through the eyes of four very different artists from their very different diving experiences; we are extremely grateful to them for supporting the cause of our sea wildlife at this crucial time.”
Diving off the Dorset and Norfolk coast
Painters Esther Tyson from Derbyshire, Kim Atkinson from North Wales and Antonia Phillips from Swanage dived off the Dorset coast and Harriet Mead, sculptor and President of the SWLA, discovered the wonders of the Norfolk coast. Harriet said: “The Wildlife Trusts’ Underwater Art Award was a tremendous opportunity to see the extraordinary life beneath the waves. The marine habitat is an environment that few people have the chance to experience so not only did the diving inspire my work it has also made me determined to spread the word about the precious world that surrounds the UK coastline” .
Please respond to the Marine Conservation Zones public consultation
Of 127 recommended Marine Conservation Zones, chosen after two years of hard work by stakeholders from all sectors of the marine environment, the Government proposes to designate only 31. The Wildlife Trusts urge people to support a full network of protected areas by responding to the public consultation, which closes on 31st March.
When to see the exhibition
The Underwater Art for Action Exhibition is open from Saturday 16th until Tuesday 26th March 10am to 4pm at the Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre, Portland Road, DT4 9XE. Free event, donations towards marine conservation. For more information, ring 01305 206191.
Help to save our seas!
Help save our seas and have your say on marine conservation zones at www.wildlifetrusts.org. Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Peter Tinsley at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620 or 07584 583526.
About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is owned by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and leased to Dorset Wildlife Trust who run the Centre on behalf of a partnership including the Chesil Bank and the Fleet Nature Reserve and the Jurassic Coast Team, with the continued help of local volunteers. The building of the new centre and boardwalk was made possible by funding from a wide range of organisations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Crown Estate and Court Leet of the Island and Royal Manor of Portland, the Fine Family Foundation, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Dorset County Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Chalk and Cheese and the Jurassic Coast Trust.
The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) www.wildlifetrusts.org
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.