Mark Anderson, an internationally recognised and world class sand artist who creates intricate sculptures out of sand has just revealed his latest creation, that of Neptune, Greek god of the sea and also the figurehead for the National Trust’s Neptune Coastline fundraising campaign.
During 2015, a year-long South West Coastal Festival of events and fundraising will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of this campaign, set up in 1965 to protect the coast from the threat of development and look after it for ever for the nation.
The sand sculpture of Neptune has been specially created to commemorate this anniversary of the Trust’s fundraising campaign and is now on display at Sandworld, Weymouth’s first sand sculpture “Best of British” festival until the end of November.
Since the 1920’s, Mark’s grandfather, Fred Darrington, delighted millions of visitors with his wonderful sand creations on Weymouth Beach. Under his tuition, now with over 20 years of experience, Mark has continued and developed this tradition of ‘Sculptures in Sand’ bringing smiles to visitors and welcome publicity for the resort.
Helen Mann, National Trust General Manager for West Dorset said: ‘I am delighted Mark agreed to work with us and create this magnificent sand sculpture of Neptune our coastal figure-head. Not only will this creation amaze and delight visitors to Weymouth’s Sandworld exhibition it will also help us raise awareness of the 300 miles of coastline we care for in the South West and why we need continued support from our visitors.”
Over the last 50 years, public and partnership support have helped raise over £65 million for the Trust’s Neptune Coastline campaign, enabling us to safeguard 745 miles of coastline across the England, Wales and Northern Ireland (300 miles of which are in the south west).
It costs £3,000 per year per mile to look after the 300 miles of coastline we care for in the South West, most of which was acquired through generous donations, gifts and legacies. That’s a cost of £1million pounds just to manage our existing coastline and ensure access is maintained.
The coast in the South West is visited and enjoyed every year by more than 22 million people, with 63% of people regarding visiting the seaside or coast as important to their quality of life, but the future ongoing protection of these places is essential if our coast is to remain beautiful and accessible for future generations.
Throughout the year coastal events will be taking place at National Trust places across the South West. From a series of mass beach cleans in March, to a big beach picnic in July. Events which will help tell the stories of our coastline, celebrate everyone’s personal connections and memories as well as shining a light on the charity’s work and cause.
The sand sculpture will be on display at Sandworld until the end of November 2015 and National Trust members get discounted entry to the whole exhibition.