Kayaking and kites to be part of week of coastal celebrations

Wayne Gibson, East Durham Area Action Partnership community development project officer, Colin Burn, watersports development officer at Seaham Marina, and Niall Benson, heritage coast officer, give kayaking a go.
Wayne Gibson, East Durham Area Action Partnership community development project officer, Colin Burn, watersports development officer at Seaham Marina, and Niall Benson, heritage coast officer, give kayaking a go.

A week packed with free activities has been lined up to help families discover the Heritage Coast.

The stretch, which covers Sunderland to Hartlepool, will host half-term celebrations as part of Reach for the Beach, an outdoor festival to encourage people to appreciate its sights.

Seaham Blast Beach is on the Durham Heritage Coast.

Seaham Blast Beach is on the Durham Heritage Coast.

Activities include guided walks, a photographic competition, arts and crafts, bike rides, litter picks, kite making, opportunities to learn about geology and wildlife, barn dancing, evening walks, rambles for toddlers and sports on Hendon beach.

Others will take place on the water with boat trips from Seaham to Crimdon and sea kayaking taster sessions in Seaham Marina.

All but one of the activities are free of charge.

Niall Benson, officer for the Heritage Coast Partnership, said: “We’re very proud of our beautiful Heritage Coast and Reach for the Beach is a fantastic showcase for the range of outdoor activities that are possible here.

We’re excited by the festival’s potential and hopefully it will prove popular.

Heritage Coast officer Niall Benson

“This half-term is a great time to get out there and enjoy it.

“It’s a challenge putting on community events like this given the current financial climate.

“We’ve been able to do so by bringing together a host of events planned by different groups under the umbrella of Reach for the Beach.

“In total, 28 organisations have been involved and some have kindly moved their planned activities so that they’d land during the festival.

“As a result, Reach for the Beach can offer dancing, running, cycling, kayaking and a whole range of activities for all ages.

“There’s also the chance to cheer on National Trust Half Marathon runners and even pirates and a treasure hunt at Crimdon Dene.

“We’re excited by the festival’s potential and hopefully it will prove popular.”

Colin Burn, watersports development officer based at Seaham Marina, said: “We want to get more local people and schools involved in enjoying this beautiful coast from the water and interest is growing

“This half term and this summer, our aim is to get people out and enjoying the water safely.

“Reach for the Beach can only help with that.”

The events run from Saturday until Sunday, June 5.

More details about Reach for the Beach are available online at www.durhamheritagecoast.org and leaflets are available from community centres, libraries and shops.

Advance booking is required for some activities and they are all free of charge except for the boat trips from Seaham to Crimdon, which cost £5 per person.