Nature’s Cure on the North East Coast

Find out what the North East Coast means to local residents during times of need.

When I think of the landscape of the North East, I first think of the breath-taking coastline. I think of summer afternoons spent at Druridge Bay, or freezing cold winter dips in the sea with my grandma. It’s impossible to ignore the beauty of the North East’s coastline – on the train between Berwick and Newcastle, people look up from phones and books long enough to take in the sea and cliffs just outside the train’s windows.

The North East Nature Archive is full of evidence of the social and cultural importance of the North East coastline over decades and centuries. The vivid colours of Mary Jane Hancock’s watercolour sketches of Tynemouth in the summer, for example, communicate the brightness of spending a summer’s day on the beach.

We’ve loved hearing your stories about what nature in the North East means to you, and it’s no wonder that the amazing landscape of the North East coastline has been so emotionally resonant. As two contributors reflect:

“My mam, stepdad and I spread our beloved family dog Jessie’s ashes at Long Sands Beach. She loved the sea so much that she would howl with excitement all the way down the coast road in the car. She was the sweetest thing I’ve ever known and we all miss her every day. Any beach, particularly this one, makes me feel close to her again.”

“As someone who enjoys yoga, I am often asked to try and meditate. Something I am absolutely rubbish at and find incredibly hard; unless I think of one specific place, a small bay near sugar sands beach. It is a beautiful little beach and I have many fond memories there. I had, however, not visited for a while but one day, when a friend was particularly sad, I decided it would be the perfect time to revisit. It was completely secluded and we had a lovely day sitting on the beach and exploring the surroundings. A day we are both very grateful for.”

Do these stories resonate with you? Do you also have a story of connection to nature that you’d like to share? Whatever your story of ‘nature’s cure in time of need’, we want to hear it. Your contributions are valuable in helping us build a picture of what nature means to people in the North East in difficult times. You can read other stories, and submit your own contribution to the ‘Nature’s Cure’ project, here.

Kate Guariento
Project Archivist

Kate leads on the Nature’s Cure in Time of Need: New Voices for North East Nature project.

She works with local communities within the North East to engage with people whose stories are under-represented.