Postcard from the edge to PM - 'Don't let us drown'
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The Rights Community Action group were in Skegness today to promote the #WeAreHere campaign, which calls for more to be done by the Government to help local areas protect themselves from climate impacts.
Campaigners working with the community produced a desperate message across a 60 x 40 meter stretch of beach, in an attempt to get the Government to accept amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration bills that could make a difference..
The sand drawing of a postcard, was created on the beach by arts organisation Sand in Your Eye, north of Skegness Pier – with the dramatic message captured from above by a drone before being washed away by the tide.
"The fact that it will disappear with the tide is quite symbolic because if something isn’t done about climate change communities living along this coast will be washed away by flooding,” explained Naomi Luhde-Thompson, Director of Rights Community Action.
The campaign comes as the annual £7 million sand replenishment by the Environment Agency from Saltfleet and Gibraltar Point is underway.
Around 400,000 cubic metres of sand will be used to replenish sand on beaches to protect from flooding.
The Environment Agency says the work will help mitigate flood risks by taking the brunt of the waves’ force and energy, reducing the amount of damage and erosion to hard defences such as sea walls.
This will reduce the risk of flooding for 20,000 homes and businesses, 24,500 static caravans, and 35,000 hectares of land in the county’s coastal communities, the government agency claims.
However, Rights Community Action does not believe this is enough. A new flood map, commissioned by the #WeAreHere campaign paints a stark picture of the risk of flooding to Skegness, as it sits in flood zones 2 and 3 – the highest risk zones.
“No-one is paying attention to communities like Skegness – the Government certainly isn’t,” said Naomi.
“These are places on the edge, living with the impacts of the climate crisis, that is here and happening now.
“The people of Skegness have been adding their contributions to this postcard to Rishi.
“They’ve been ignored long enough. The Government has to change the law on climate change and planning, so these communities can be saved.”
Community additions to the postcard spanned 150 x 70 meters of beach. Messages included ‘Stop single use plastic’, ‘Stop Oil’, ‘Help’, ‘Save us’, ‘Stop single use plastic’, and ‘Carbon Tax’.
Amongst those adding mesages were the Lincolnshire Climate Conscious Students, members of the local Extinction Rebellion as well as local people enjoying the beach.
Aide Turner, a Lincolnshire Climate Conscious Students member from Skegness Grammar School, said: “We are here to raise awareness of the climate catastrophe facing Skegness and the surrounding areas.
"Our county is neglected by the government and we want to bring attention to that and spur on action by the community, which is why this is so important.”
The Mayor of Skegness, Coun Pete Barry, was also in attendance. “I think this is marvelous,” he said.
"The message from Rights Community Action is an important one and it has been wonderful seeing members of the community joining in and writing their concerns too.”