After such a crazy year, it’s been great to get back to the beach with our sand drawing kit and eke out the last rays of summer sun with some sand art.
Whilst our sand drawings by their very nature are socially distanced (sometimes by up to 50 metres!), Coronavirus has made planning safe events hard. We have been making every effort to come up with solutions to ensure our team, partners and participants at events follow Covid safe procedures and that safe socially distanced public events can go ahead. If you would like to know more, we have put together this film to show you how our activities and events work with the government guidelines.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust contacted us at the beginning of 2020, asking whether we would like to collaborate on some beach art in Kent to celebrate their Making a Buzz for the Coast conservation and engagement project, which sees some fantastic volunteers managing the coastal areas of Kent to encourage and maintain habitats for the UK’s bumblebees. Originally, we were planning to run sand drawing workshops with them in June 2020 to kick start the summer holidays for local school children. Obviously with the Coronavirus pandemic affecting all of our daily lives so dramatically, those initial plans were shelved and the project had to be rethought. At Sand In Your Eye, especially during the current events we always try to be flexible and we kept in contact with the team at the Trust throughout spring and summer and planned hard to make this amazing sand art project work safely. It was decided that the volunteers for the Trust would take part in the sand art workshops as a thank you for all their hard work.
Finally, early in the morning, towards the end of September 2020 we stepped onto the beach at Botany Bay, Kent. The chalk cliffs that are so iconic to that area of England are the very habitats that the bumblebees thrive in. 22 of 24 of the species of bumblebee native to the UK can be found in Kent, including 4 of the rarest including the shrill carder bee. We’ve visited Botany Bay a couple of times in the past, including for a Bollywood film and to promote the musical Prince of Egypt.
Rich and Liz were drawing a giant sand drawing of a bumblebee and the volunteers for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust joined us for some socially distant workshops. Jamie flew the drone to capture footage of the whole day.
We set up our sand art workshop station on the beach, with a clear entry and exit and hand sanitizer, disinfected stencils of bumblebees and flowers and rakes were available and the 20 volunteers then spread out across the beach, keeping a social distance at all times, whilst managing to socialise safely in the fresh air.
The sun shone warmly and some of the volunteers were even in shorts, the Sand In Your Eye team had a few more layers on as they had been on the beach since 7am when it had been raining! Looking back, it was perhaps the last day of summer so it was great to spend it with our feet on the sand – we’ve really missed making our beach art this year!
Once back in the studio, the hard work wasn’t over – Rich has put together the social media friendly film at the top of the page promoting the work of the Trust. With Jamie as our CAA licensed and insured drone pilot, we can capture aerial shots of sand drawings and land art and then our team can edit the footage in house to create a bespoke film perfect for communicating a clients message or promoting their event or brand and getting it out across the internet.
The work of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust is vitally important – even with the Covid 19 crisis, the work to protect bees must continue. Bees are essential for pollinating plants around the world. If bees were allowed to die out, the food chain that we depend on would collapse. This is a cause close to our hearts, earlier this year, we made this light art installation of a bee a little closer to home in Bradford city centre.
These wonderful volunteers are doing everything they can to look after the habitats around the Kent coast and it was great to meet them all, we are sure they enjoyed their day on the beach. Apparently it was the first time they had all been together since Christmas, we’re really glad we could help to facilitate this socially distanced get together. Thanks to Lauren Kennedy at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust for all her hard work and enthusiasm getting this sand drawing to actually happen.