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University teams up with National Trust to spread awareness

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Published on 05 August 2021

Coastal board
Coastal board

The National Trust at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas has teamed up with the University of Sunderland to raise public awareness of the coast as an ever-changing environment.

Illustration and Design graduate Erica Donnelly was matched with Souter through the University’s Robson Creative Internship Award.

She met with National Trust staff at the lighthouse before going on to design an interpretation panel explaining the process of erosion on the local coastline.

Louise Thain, National Trust Programming and Partnerships Officer for the South of Tyne property group said: “We embraced the opportunity to work with a talented young designer and partner with the University of Sunderland.

“Erica had some brilliant ideas and has done a very professional job, it’s a really well designed and informative panel.

“The story of coastal erosion is an important one to tell, especially to anyone visiting the area. It explains why we have such a scenic and rugged coastline on South Tyneside, with its characteristic cliffs, rock stacks and sea caves. Local people will know how much the iconic Marsden Rock has changed within living memory; and it will keep on changing.”

Professor Kevin Petrie, Head of the School of Art & Design at University of Sunderland said of the project: “Our Art & Design programmes are focused on how creativity can be used to benefit society and Erica’s project with The National Trust is a great example of how illustration and design can be used by a talented artist to communicate an important message about our beautiful local coastline around Sunderland.

"At the University of Sunderland we are very much careers and professions facing and our Robson Creative Internship programme is offering students the chance to get real world experience to build their creative portfolios.

“The programme is funded from a generous bequest from the Robson family who had a passion for art and design and we’d like to acknowledge that support. We would also like to thank The National Trust for the foresight to use illustration and design skills for this project."

Visitors can find the new panel next to the England Coast Path on The Leas, just north of Souter Lighthouse.