Families from around South Hams responded to the call from Bigbury Net Zero, to assemble on the sand at Bigbury on-Sea on Saturday the 6th November.  It was the middle weekend of the COP26 assembly of governments from around the world who were deciding on the future of our very existence.  In Glasgow, governments were meeting to define the budgets and goals needed to keep global warming from destroying life as we know it.  


In Bigbury, an estimated 500 people of all generations had a common goal   – to create a visual and musical display of their support for the climate change legislation and to demand the funding needed to keep the rise in temperatures below 1.5 deg C before 2030. 


Farmer, John Tucker - famed for his inspirational messages in the sand in times of emergency – came onto the beach with his tractor at low tide to carve   SOS   COP26.  Families followed the inflated sea mammals used by Chris Berry of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue to train divers in sea mammal life-saving skills.   They stood on the words carved into the sand with their umbrellas unfurled, symbolising the increased winter rainfall expected due to climate change.  A drone, piloted by Maya and Mike Jackson, recorded this historic event which will now be viewed by thousands across the world through social media, managed by Lynda Kelly and Katie Smith from Bigbury Net Zero.  A team of volunteer marshals kept everyone safe and were led by retired policemen, Eamonn and Linda Byres. 


Modbury’s Town Crier, David Scott, was master of ceremonies, calling the throngs gathered to listen to the message from Bigbury Net Zero’s Secretary, Louise Wainwright. Bigbury Net Zero and The Beach Assembly sent a strong message to Sir Gary Streeter MP and Anthony Mangnall MP who were voted into office to represent the South Hams.  They wanted real action to urgently reduce emissions and called upon South Hams MPs to energetically support the Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill, as they were asked to do by 29 parish councils across the South Hams, representing 70% of our population.  They have refused to do so, giving excuses which were grossly inadequate.  Bigbury Net Zero reminded the MPs that their voting record was being very closely monitored.


Grandparents, parents and children on the beach were led by the melodious voices of the Modbury Gospel Singers, Salcombe Gospel Singers and Devonly Voices under the direction of Jo Highley and with Caroline Evans on the keyboard.  Together their voices rose across the beach causeway and onto the Devon coastline.  “Oh, What a Wonderful World” they sang in unison, “I see trees of green, Red roses too, I see them bloom, For me and you, And I think to myself, What a wonderful world”  


Bigbury Net Zero urged those attending the Beach Assembly to measure their carbon footprints and begin their personal journeys to Net Zero by using the Carbon Savvy footprint calculator. https://carbonsavvy.uk/


Families from around South Hams who Assembled on Bigbury Beach; Pilchard Inn on Burgh Island MD, Andrew Jamieson; Juliette Jackson, Director of Sea Dreams Education; Farmer, John Tucker and tractor;  Luke Adams Lighting PA system, Maya and Mike Jackson and drone; Modbury’s Town Crier, David Scott; the voices of Modbury Gospel Singers, Salcombe Gospel Singers and Devonly Voices; music leaders Jo Highley,  Caroline Evans, Vicky Hadland;  Chris Berry of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue and sea mammals;: Marshal Team headed up by Eamonn & Linda Byres; Tony Willis;  Beach Barista; Beach Shop; Venus Cafe and the Board of the Causeway Apartments. 

And all those who helped to promote the event - SHDC Climate Climate & Biodiversity Emergency Team; Devon Communities Together, Holywell Stores, Venus Cafe, Discovery Surf, Zero Hour, Kingsbridge Gazette, Andrew Kay Bauer Media, BBC, Totnes XR, DWLT, COPnes26, Ringmore and Modbury parish teams, Action Climate Teignbridge and the many individuals who shared on social media.