The Sea Around Us, Rachel Carson – Summer Reading Project

Sep 8, 2020 | Blog, Events

About these Events

People around the Exe Estuary have been taking part in our summer read of Rachel Carson’s remarkable book The Sea Around Us, in partnership with Devon Libraries and Libraries Unlimited.

We chose this book for our Tidelines summer read because it brings together so many strands we are interested in: creativity, imagination and science; the connection of our place here, in the Exe estuary to the wider systems of the spinning earth, and exploring artful ways to communicate complex subjects. Rachel Carson was a pioneering female scientist who, through her writing (in particular her book Silent Spring), inspired generations of people to take action to protect the earth.

Readers discussed their experiences of the book in two outdoors estuary-side locations and an online discussion with other readers, researchers and scientists on 17 September and 20 September, 2020.  We invited people to share: Did reading the book have an impact on how you now see the ocean and the estuary? Do you think this book still has relevance today? Is there anything you were surprised by, are curious about or want to know more about?

We were joined by researchers and scientists from the Marine Biological Association and University of Exeter who took part in the conversations and responded to questions.

The two outdoors events were situated in different parts of the estuary. At The Gut, Exmouth outside Guy’s boat shed – in the location where much of the Exmouth boatbuilding took place and The Lookout a residence with a beautifully landscaped garden on the site of a old mussel processing factory in Lympstone. Each event was timed to fit with incoming Spring tides so the sea became more present as the events unfolded.  Both live events had limited numbers of participants and observed social distancing guidelines.  The online event  included small ‘breakout’ sessions where people got the chance to discuss the book in small groups.

Some comments from our post-event surveys included:

Relaxed nature. Fluid format. Stunning setting!

The setting was incredible. The informality was just right. We felt we could speak even though we weren’t the scientists. I loved hearing from the marine biologists and their enthusiasm

it was a pleasure to sit outside Guy’s workshop and the discussion felt much more connected to the reality of the sea as a result of the location.

I do hope that there could be some kind of conduit for us ( non scientists with an interest in the biodiversity issues that are apparent at present ) to ask questions to research scientists directly.

I would like more structured questions/talking points.

I know that more generally the event will have contributed to a growth in my appreciation for the Exe, as well as a sense of connectedness. I’ll continue to look closely and observe and see what I can find out.

Its a hugely valuable opportunity to talk to researchers. It just doesn’t happen otherwise. If researchers are ‘available’ then its usually in a lecture/talk format which isn’t so engaging.
 
Here is a radio interview with Howard James from Exmouth Air:
 

The Exe Estuary Box

The Exe Estuary Box

 https://youtu.be/ZiG5Fhd2atYWelcome to the Exe Estuary Box!What is it?The Exe estuary box is a place to share thoughts, experiences, ideas and questions on the Exe estuary and coastline, in your own time, from your own home. You could do these activities on your own...

read more
Exe Box in process…

Exe Box in process…

We are in the final stages of putting together the Exe Box, a box of activities that can be delivered to your door! It will contain activities to explore how we feel, what we know and observe and want to know about the estuary we live around. The Exe Box invites...

read more
Exmouth’s Estuary: by local Photographer Danielle Gibson

Exmouth’s Estuary: by local Photographer Danielle Gibson

 In January of this year, I had the opportunity to complete my first ever completely self-directed body of work for my University degree in Photography. No strict themes, no given tasks, no group work, just me and a camera capturing what fascinated me and continued to...

read more
What we want to know about…Changing Sea Temperatures

What we want to know about…Changing Sea Temperatures

This image shows the bathymetry (undersea topography) of the North West European Shelf Seas (NWS), the seas around the UK (including the English Channel and the North, Celtic and Irish Seas).The European continental tectonic plate extends below the sea surface over a...

read more
The Sea Around Us Rachel Carson

The Sea Around Us Rachel Carson

Love a good read? Love the sea? Tidelines invites you to take part in an Exe estuary-wide summer read of Rachel Carson’s book The Sea Around Us working with Devon Libraries and Libraries Unlimited. “Reading it will ensure that you never look at the sea in the same way...

read more
CITiZAN Tidelines seminar/presentation

CITiZAN Tidelines seminar/presentation

We were invited to present Tidelines as part of the CITiZAN webinar programme. CITiZAN is the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network, a community archaeology project working in the areas of England exposed at low tide but covered at high tide, areas at...

read more
My encounters with flora at the tide’s reach. Part 1.

My encounters with flora at the tide’s reach. Part 1.

We invited Heath Nickels a wildlife and wildflower enthusiast to write a blog about flora at the tide's reach after a walk we made between Exton and the mouth of the Clyst. Tidelines is very much about valuing all our experiences and knowledge of the Exe whether you...

read more
My encounters with flora at the tide’s reach. Part 2.

My encounters with flora at the tide’s reach. Part 2.

Exton to the Mouth of the Clyst We parked bikes at Exton Station, and walked back under the railway line which is passable at most times of the tide other than high tide, out northwards onto the Estuary.  The walled railway embankment exhibited some typical estuarine...

read more
The Map Room

The Map Room

This is a a gallery of maps submitted as part of the Mapping the Exe invitation.  Please draw your own and upload them to me and I will put them on the gallery. Maps can be anything. It is about how you experience the Exe estuary or coastline or a section of it....

read more
The Almanac begins..

The Almanac begins..

Things you notice epic or ordinary can be logged into The Alamanac via the website Almanac page. This a long term project and can grow over a number of years like a diary. It will create a picture of the estuary and how it is changing. You can enter almanac notes from...

read more