BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 25 August '15

Installation helps urbanites reconnect with the coast

A giant shell will be washing up at cities around the UK during August as part of the National Trust’s year-long celebration of the coast.

The ‘Shellsphere’ is a full sensory coastal experience, featuring seaside smells, sounds, sights and tastes. It radiates aromas of salty sea air and seaweed, the sounds of waves and seagulls and magical interior lighting.

Ode to the Coast – from punk poetry to ‘a big fat sky and a thousand shrieks’

Losing our connection

Visits to the coast have declined by 20% in the last decade, and over half the nation hasn’t had a single day trip to the coast in the last year. The Nation Trust hopes the touring Shellsphere will help reconnect us to the wonders of the seaside.

A steady decline in the nation’s feelings of connectedness to the coast, particularly in young people, was also revealed by a comparative study of 9,000 people.

Recreating magic

The Shellsphere has already helped to recreate the magic of the coast in the heart of Bristol, Cardiff and London. It will now tour Birmingham (24 August), Leeds (26 August), Manchester (28 August) and Belfast (31 August).

‘The UK coastline is a magical place and can offer such a diverse range of experiences. We’re hoping the Shellsphere will trigger people’s love of the coast and encourage them to explore the great UK coastline this summer and beyond.’

Gwen Potter, National Trust wildlife and countryside ranger and coastal champion

As part of the free interactive experience visitors will be able to help celebrated poet Dr John Cooper Clarke complete a new poem, the ‘Nation’s Ode to the Coast’.

Click here to find out more about the National Trust’s year of the coast.