Gems in the Dunes

 Gems in the Dunes

  • Art from outdoor workshops in the Dunes
  • This is an exhibition of work created in the sand dunes along the Sefton Coast.
  • Drawing, painting, cyanotype and porcelain workshops.
  • Celebrating this incredible coastline and some of the endangered species it supports.

The National Lottery-funded Back from the Brink project is one of the most ambitious conservation initiatives ever undertaken. Its aim – to save 20 species from extinction and benefit over 200 more through 19 projects that span England; from the tip of Cornwall to Northumberland.

It’s the first time ever that so many conservation organisations have come together with one focus in mind – to bring back from the brink of extinction some of England’s most threatened species of animal, plant and fungi…And the Sefton Coast is part of this ambitious scheme.

During the summer, in the dunes along the Sefton Coast, artists Sian Hughes and Sarah Jane Richards led workshops alongside the Gems in the Dunes team, who shared their knowledge and experience. Over 60 people took part in the painting, drawing, cyanotype and porcelain workshops to record and reflect on the endangered species this dune system supports.

Participants commented:

‘I loved everything about it – especially the wonderful flora and exhilarating sea air’.

They were amazed at the variety of species hidden in the Dunes and were inspired to look more closely at places they would normally walk through but not connect with.

This excitement and inspiration is reflected in the vibrant artwork they produced.

Come along to the Opening Event on the 17th October at 2pm to see the work that was created.

The Exploring the Dunes Exhibition is on in The Atkinson Library, Southport from 17th – 30th October 2019.

This project is part of the Back from the Brink, a nationwide project saving England’s most endangered species from extinction and funded by the National Lottery Fund For more information visit


For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact:

[Sian Hughes],[ Artist]: [07989583487 []


Images to support this story are available from the Back from the Brink communications team: /

Editor’s notes:

  1. Back from the Brink is one of the most ambitious conservation projects ever undertaken. Through 19 projects delivered across England, 20 UK species facing extinction will be brought back from the brink thanks to a £4.6 million grant from the National Lottery. The project is the first nationwide coordinated effort to bring a wide range of leading charities and conservation bodies together to save threatened species. Natural England, the government’s wildlife advisory body, will work in partnership with Amphibian and Reptile Trust, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and the RSPB. Together they will pool expertise, develop new ways of working and inspire people across the country to discover, value and act for threatened animals, plants and fungi.


  1. About the National Lottery Heritage Fund: Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.

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Posted on 10 October 2019 under General news

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