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Exploring Seascapes and Tall Ships in Sunderland

I recently had a very interesting couple of days spent again on the North East coast of England. With the marvellous backdrop of the Sunderland Tall Ship Races. The area between the Rivers Tyne and Tees is remarkable for hiking and walking as I have previously shown in articles, but behind those scenes there are plans to go even better with the Seascapes Project, Tyne to Tees Shores and Seas.

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People had flocked to the area to see the many wonderful Tall Ships that make a remarkable sight at the old port of Sunderland. History, especially in shipping and building was made here and in my next post I will be covering Old Sunderland itself. Today, Seascapes Project, something that is transforming the area from the perception of old mining industry into one that is very true today. A coastline packed full of heritage, wildlife, communities and culture. All things that help to keep bringing me back to these parts again and again.

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It is not just along the coastal land itself that is being discovered and unlocked. Beneath the sea for a few miles out this coastline has many hidden, wondrous treasures that need to be brought to the fore. Many unique shipwrecks, a divers paradise. Corals, lobsters and fish growing and growing in number plus a geology that was once hidden by industries of a bygone era now being brought to the masses.

The ‘Tyne to Tees, Shores and Seas – Seascape Project’ is a partnership of organisations from cultural to heritage, from natural to historical that are working tirelessly to celebrate and educate on the coast between the Tyne and Tees as well as help preserve it.

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The project with help from the partners and the Heritage Lottery Fund is developing a programme of even more projects going forward. Improving access to beaches, exploring the shipwrecks and habitats beneath the waves, constructing a coastal conservation centre, tackling marine litter and creating opportunities for local people and visitors to enjoy being on and in the sea.

If you are local to the area between the Tyne and Tees then this is a big opportunity to not just see and be involved in your area but also to preserve and improve for many years to come! Success will mean £5 million pounds worth of funding, creating the UK’s first marine landscape partnership. It was fascinating listening to the passion from some of the team involved and helping get the word out.

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You can find out more about the Seascapes Project on their website and also find out how you can get involved. They also have a photo competition running and I know all about how much this coastline is stunning to photograph myself.

The area is so diverse, so much more than Sunderland, the Tyne, Tees and Wear. There are many areas for the whole family to see, explore and learn from. Seaham, a marine hotbed and Easington Colliery, a coastal landscape cleaned beyond recognition whilst looking after the heritage of the past. Or head South more toward the Tees to see wildlife of such variety on and beyond Crimdon Beach. These are just a few of many examples I could name.

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Thanks also to those with the top tip for my coffee break whilst I was there. Fausto Coffee certainly does do a damn good cuppa. And a bonus it is literally by the entrance to Roker Pier 🙂

Speaking of Roker Pier and Lighthouse, it became a perfect vantage spot to watch the Tall Ships entering the Port of Sunderland. A remarkable sight of history and heritage in harmony I thought!

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Back on the Seascapes stand where word was getting out about the project, we had many a remarkable visitor. Young and old, plus many inquisitive canine friends enjoying coastal setting.

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Plus someone I had met before, Speckled Jim, part of the exhibits at Heugh Battery at Hartlepool Headland. Really worth a visit there in itself if you are interested in our wartime history.

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Alas it was time to take one final look around the Tall Ships before new adventures, it was a remarkable sight and even more so in the glorious sunshine.

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In the next article from here I will be delving a whole lot more into the history and heritage again. Watch this space.

Please do take a look at what the Seascapes Project is up to, even more so if local. This will change lives and perceptions I am sure of it 🙂

Written by Paul Steele

Founder of BaldHiker.com and avid hiker, climber and trekker. Never liking to sit still and always seeking new adventures around the world. Sharing personal views here and tweeting live via @paul_steele

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