Big Ideas By The Sea is a new festival that started in Scarborough in 2021. Big Ideas By The Sea 2 will take place in May 2022. 

The festival aims to be the North’s leading environmental and creative festival by 2025.  This not-for-profit annual festival will bring leading speakers, thinkers, and creative people from science, the arts, business, technology and the environment to debate the Big Ideas that concern all of us.

We've teamed up with Big Ideas By The Sea to bring environmental authors to the North Yorkshire Coast. See below for our fantastic series of events for schools and the local community throughout May!

Festival line up

Meet the Oceans

Meet the Oceans with Caryl Hart and Bethan Woollvin

Sat 21 May, 10-10:45am, Ages 4-7
The Old Parcels Office, Scarborough

Join author/illustrator duo Caryl Hart and Bethan Woollvin to explore oceans near and far! An interactive session exploring all the oceans of the world and their occupants, meet colourful fish, whales and dolphins. Shout when you see your favourite! Sing-a-long to a jellyfish jiggle and get the chance to create your own wiggly jellyfish to take home. All materials for the session will be provided.

Tickets are now sold!

Caryl Hart writes picture books and young fiction and loves walking her dog and sitting in cafes and libraries. She runs creative literacy workshops for schools and libraries. She has written Whiffy Wilson, How to Catch a Dragon, Welcome to Alien School, How to Grow a Dinosaur, Supermarket Zoo, The Princess and the Peas, The Princess and the Presents, Catch That Rat, Big Box Little Box and Meet the Planets. She lives in Sheffield with her husband and two daughters.

Bethan Woollvin graduated from Anglia Ruskin University with a First Class Degree in Illustration. In 2014, she won the Macmillan Prize for Illustration for her debut picture book, Little Red Riding Hood. Her striking, unique and bold style has found fans the world over. The success of her first book was replicated in her follow-up titles, Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel, and in her first collaboration with Caryl Hart, Meet the Planets. Bethan lives in Sheffield.

Wild Reading Wild Writing

Wild Reading… Wild Writing with Sophie Kirtley

Sat 21 May, 11-11:45am, Ages 7-11
The Old Parcels Office, Scarborough

Join Sophie Kirtley, author of The Wild Way Home, for an exploration of wonders of the natural world - the animals and wildlife we love to read and write about. What does wildness bring to a story? And how can we make our own stories go wild too? All materials will be provided for the wild workshop.

Book your free ticket here!

Sophie Kirtley grew up in Northern Ireland, where she spent her childhood climbing on hay bales, rolling down sand dunes and leaping the raw Atlantic waves. Nowadays she lives in Wiltshire with her husband, three children and their mini-menagerie of pets and wild things. Sophie has always loved stories; she has taught English and has worked in a theatre, a bookshop and a tiny pub where folk tell fairytales by candlelight. Sophie is also a prize-winning published poet.

Virtual school events

Big Q's with Dr Catherine Barr

Big Questions with… Dr Catherine Barr

11 May, 10-10:45am, Ages 7-11
Limited to schools across the North Yorkshire Coast

Join intrepid explorer and climate campaigner Dr Catherine Barr for a session exploring climate change through her books Let’s Save Antarctica and Let’s Save the Amazon. Dr Catherine Barr has campaigned for Greenpeace, worked for the Natural History Museum and will share her planet-friendly ideas to inspire everyone to save their planet. Children will have the chance to ask Catherine their BIG QUESTION at the end of the session.

Event prompts: Challenge your class to research why the Amazon and Antarctica might need our help, explore how they could help their local eco-systems.

Schools can sign up for the event here!

Catherine writes books to spark questions, inspire curiosity and provoke action to protect the natural world. After campaigning with Greenpeace for years, she trained as a journalist and became Editor at the Natural History Museum, writing exhibitions. She wrote her first book The Story of Life (in collaboration with the Museum) after searching in vain for a simple science book about evolution for her children. It was shortlisted for The English Association Picture Book Award and long listed for the School Library Association Information Book Awards in 2016.

She has now written over 25 nonfiction picture books and is a proud Patron of Reading of a local school on the Welsh borders. Catherine visits schools around the UK to run workshops on evolution, endangered species and many other issues that have inspired her books.

Big Q's with Lou and Julia

Big Questions with… Lou Kuenzler and Julia Woolf

20 May, 2-2:35pm, Ages 5-7
Limited to schools across the North Yorkshire Coast

Robber Racoon is up to no good, sneaking into Bear, Flamingo and Snake's house but just what is she up to? Join author/illustrator duo Lou Kuenzler and Julia Woolf and watch junk become art, inspired by a brave racoon. Children will help the authors create a new sculpture inspired by the items they recycle in their homes and will have the chance to ask their BIG QUESTION at the end of the session.

Event prompts: Challenge your class to think about waste and recycling. What kinds of items become something else?

Schools can sign up for the event here!

Lou Kuenzler grew up on a windy sheep farm in Devon. She is the author of numerous books for children, including My Digger is Bigger, Eat Your People, Our Beautiful Game, the Shrinking Violet series, the Princess DisGrace series, the Bella Broomstick series and Not Yet, Zebra. She lives in London with her family.

Julia Woolf worked for twenty years in animation, including twelve years working in the US for Dreamworks. After returning to the UK she did an MA in Children’s Book Illustration. She is the author/illustrator of Giraffe on a Bicycle, Not Yet, Zebra and various board books. She lives in Kent.

Visit the Big Ideas By The Sea website for more exciting events and activities!