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Art on the Island: Conversations with the Sea

A view over the saltmarsh at Northey Island, Essex
Saltmarsh at Northey Island | © National Trust Images/Justin Minns

Find out more about the events taking place as part of Northey Island's new community art project.

We're launching a series of new art events on Northey Island to help raise awareness of the work we’re doing to tackle climate change and rising sea levels.

Northey Island is the largest single block of saltmarsh habitat in the Blackwater Estuary and has been at the forefront of coastal adaptation for the past 30 years.

Since 2020, the National Trust has been undertaking the biggest habitat creation project in the island’s history to help the area better withstand climate impacts.

We’ve teamed up with Sara Hayes of the Public Art Company to deliver a series of interactive, family-friendly events. Throughout 2024, Sara will lead a series of walks and workshops that explore Northey Island’s unique habitats, which will eventually culminate in the island’s very own installation of public art.

As part of the project, Sara will also be delivering education sessions to local schools and community groups.

Close up of a child's hand as they take part in a printing with plants workshop using colourful green paint
Artist Sara Hayes will host a number of art events at Northey Island this summer | © Sara Hayes


Walking and Printing with Plants | Saturday 4 May | Free and family-friendly
Join artist Sara Hayes for a deep dive into the plants of Northey Island. Take a short walk and gather leaves and other natural materials to print from and create your own masterpieces. All materials will be supplied, no experience necessary. Book here.

Red Salt Clay workshop | Saturday 15 June | Free and family-friendly
Meet a local ceramicist, get inspired by the island and then create your own Northey-inspired sculptures from local red salt clay. Book here

Art walk | Tuesday 18 June | Free and family-friendly
Join Sara and a guest artist to investigate the diverse wildlife, plant life and bird populations of Northey Island and record what you see and experience through a variety of creative tasks. No experience is necessary. Book now

Introduction to Sea Level Rise Walk and Talk | Tuesday 16 July | Free and family-friendly
Enjoy a walk around Northey Island with a National Trust ranger and learn all about the coastal interventions that are helping to prolong its life, as well as more about the wildlife that live there. Book now


Sara will also be working with local schools on a series of artist-led workshops which will involve sculpture-making, drawing and mapping the local area.

If you'd like to know more, email

Profile picture of Sara Hayes of The Public Art Company
Artist Sara Hayes | © Sara Hayes

About the artist

Sara creates works in the public domain which inspires engagement and discussion.

With a catalogue of creative projects and art installations, she engages communities via walking and art and through partnerships with local artists and groups. Often working in protected locations, she uses a variety of techniques and media and her work is unified by its social nature and environmental principles.

You can find out more about Sara here.

A view across the salt-marsh at Northey Island, Essex

Discover more at Northey Island

Find out how to get to Northey Island, where to park, things to see and do and more.