14th August 2020

Caswell Bay, Gower


14th Awst 2020

Bae Cas-welt, Gwyr






Scroll down to view the 2020 festival feature

Artists /Artistiaid:



Project Photographer / Ffotograffydd Prosiect: Phil Holden


Our 16th annual beach sculpture festival was delayed this year due to the pandemic but happily we were able to go ahead in August as soon as restrictions were eased and special measures put in place. Once again the festival began at beautiful Caswell beach on the Gower Peninsula which was the first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956, awarded for its fantastic coastal scenery and unique history and culture. Caswell beach holds both a Blue Flag and Seaside Award, achieved in part with environmental education activities such as our annual sculpture festival. Caswell Bay or Welsh Bae Cas-wellt (meaning straw fortress) is a sandy beach popular with families, holiday makers and surfers. The artists set up the beach with their flags, banners and marine species information posts to set the scene for a creative sand sculpting day with lots of eager and interested people of all ages. They were pleased to see the event was going ahead and it was obvious that it was a welcome distraction from worrying times and would help with everyone's well-being and confidence. As well enhancing people's creativity and well-being, our intention was to give a sense of place and awareness of different marine species that are dependent on human understanding and care, helping to protect and sustain them in both present and future times.




A large scale Hawksbill Turtle was sculpted from sand which involved the hard work in digging of a whole family. The shell was then decorated with different sized pebbles arranged in varying patterns to simulate the overlapping scales. The children especially enjoyed thinking about the different materials they could use to create the contrasting body parts of the turtle.

After lockdown, people seemed really keen to chat and really enjoyed the relief of being able to engage again.


The Festival was educational for children and adults alike.


A child enjoys working with the artists, smoothing the golden sand at Caswell to make a beautiful large scale Starfish. Attention to detail was key to creating realistic features and it was great fun.

This group enjoyed creating a Leatherback Turtle with longitudinal lines on its shell and other distinctive features using selected gathered pebbles. As the most frequently recorded turtle species in UK waters, the young people were amazed to learn that their length can be up to 2.91 meters.



This lovely family were inspired to create their own Killer Whale or Orca, the toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. They learnt during the workshop about how some Orca populations are considered threatened or endangered due to prey depletion, habitat loss, pollution (by PCBs), capture for marine mammal parks and conflicts with human fisheries.

The festival was very educational for kids and adults alike.


Engagement with nature using natural materials and ideas.

Lovely experience - the children loved it!I


The finished turtle is a work of art and much admired by everyone.

The children really enjoyed themselves and were absorbed in the activity for ages. Ford Family


The first day of the festival had been a success and the artists folded away the flags and banners ready to take to Oxwich Bay the next day.

To see page 2 of 2020 Festival at Oxwich Bay- click the link at the bottom of this page.
I weld tudalen 2 o 2020 Gwyl Traeth Bae Oxwich - cliciwch ar y ddolen ar waelod y dudalen hon.

A sea horse and a turtle which several children and groups enjoyed decorating with shells, pebbles and feathers.

A lovely surprise to find you on the beach today! Thank you.


The different materials that were on the beach such as pebbles, shells and seaweed were used to decorate this large scale Common Starfish or Sea Star sand sculpture. The children were interested to learn that although the Common Starfish found in UK waters is usually orange in colour, it can also be brownish or purple so the pebbles they gathered to use for decoration were just right. Instantly recognisable from its five-armed shape, they were amazed to find out that starfish can regenerate missing arms and the average size is 20cm across.

An environmental awareness for people was acheived - The artists discussed with them warming seas, plastic littering floating in the oceans and the huge knock-on effects on sealife.




A washed up tree trunk became a large lizard crawling across the beach! People used their imaginations to utilise found materials and create interesting artistic works that was fun and ingenius!

The Festival helped everyone to see the materials on the beach in a different light, whether it's the colours of the stones or playing with contrast between seaweed and sand.



Using the Spiny or Long Snouted Seahorse found in UK waters as inspiration, participants enjoyed creating this sand sculpture. They found out lots of facts during the workshop, like seahorses can grow to a maximum length of around 15 cm to 17 cm and live in shallow, inshore waters in the warmer months of the year amongst rocks, mud, seaweeds and seagrass which they cling to with their tails, like a monkey.


Thank you to everyone for making our annual sculpture festival such a success once again.

Diolch i bawb am wneud ein gwyl cerflunwaith flynyddol mor llwyddiant unwaith eto.









All Photos by Phil Holden . Copyright Art and Education by the Sea 2020 (Sculpture by the Sea UK)

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