First There is a Mountain at Formby

Help Katie Paterson to create the ‘First there is a Mountain’ artwork at Formby.

This Summer the National Trust is participating in Katie Paterson’s national artwork ‘First There is a Mountain’.

The artwork will tour twenty-five high profile coastal art venues around the UK, who will each stage a sand pail building event on their local beach.

This artwork will be at Formby on 6 October and you are invited to help sculpt Formby beach into thousands of mountains of sand to form micro-geologies.

Join in, slow down and consider the interconnectedness of the world, from shifting coastlines across millennia, to our own changing coastline. 

Katie Paterson: First There is a Mountain SUBTITLED from Katie Paterson on Vimeo.

Fifty sets of buckets and spades will be available to use on the day. The ‘buckets’ are specially created hollow scale models of five of the world’s most famous mountains: Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Shasta (North America), Mount Fuji (Asia), Stromboli (Europe), and Uluru (Oceania).

25 writers have been invited to write a text, one for each location of the tour. Katie Paterson has invited Simon Ingram to create the text for Formby, which will be read aloud on the day.

How to take part:
There are three ways to get involved:
1. Be a part of making this incredible event happen by becoming a National Trust volunteer (contact
2. Take part in building the mountain ranges as a participant, all ages and abilities welcome! Turn up at any time between 10am and 4pm to join in.
3. As a viewer – come and watch Formby beach transform into a mountain range and watch as the tide carries the mountains into the sea at the end of the day.

If you would like to follow this artwork as it travels around the country keep up to date via the First There is a Mountain project website.

First There is a Mountain is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland and Arts Council England. This event is being delivered by National Trust Formby in partnership with The Atkinson.