Sussex Coast

The Adventures of a Wild Coast Sussex Volunteer

Posted 13/10/2023

By Ruby Stothard

Wild Coast Sussex Volunteer

Over the spring and summer, I have been lucky enough to spend time volunteering and learning with the Wild Coast Sussex team. The Wild Coast Sussex project aims to inspire people to connect with their local beaches and encourage direct action to protect the Sussex coast.

One way I have been involved with Wild Coast Sussex is through volunteering at Wild Beach sessions. Wild Beach is an outdoor education programme that aims to connect children with their local coastline through regular child-led learning on the beach. I am always inspired by the holistic learning that takes place in these sessions. The children walk away with a deeper understanding of their environment, and with the motivation to keep exploring the outdoors! Some Wild Beach activities included rockpooling, tide tracking, beach cleans and natural art.

4 volunteers wrapped up in coats are inspecting rockpools holding buckets
Wild Beach Training – Rockpooling at Ovingdean © Ruby Stothard

An exciting event I took part in this summer was the Wild Coast Weekend – two days of learning about conservation and the coast at the beautiful Seven Sisters Country Park. Despite the particularly blustery weather, we enjoyed a silent disco beach clean, mindfulness by the sea, a campaigns workshop and more! I particularly enjoyed rockpooling and using quadrats to record and identify the different species found in this rich environment.

Two people are kneeling on seaweed, holding green shore crabs
Identifying Crabs on Seven Sisters Beach © Ruby Stothard

This summer I have also become a citizen scientist. I learnt how to find, identify and record shark and skate egg cases across the Sussex coast, as well as learning how to organise beach cleans and litter surveys. Anyone can carry out their own eggcase hunt, with the data going to the Shark Trust to inform shark, ray and skate conservation.

2 team members are showing different kinds of mermaids purses in buckets to 3 volunteers on Brighton beach. The pier is in the background
Identifying Mermaid’s Purses © Ruby Stothard

To sum up, I have had amazing experiences with Wild Coast Sussex this year, and this has helped me gain the confidence and skills to start a new job as a Wild Beach leader! I look forward to using what I have learnt to inspire love and action for our coast in my local community.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, email us at

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