Blogger and Instagrammer Caroline South loves combing beaches for the sea’s bounty
“I grew up on the Isle of Wight, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, fields, beaches and forests. I used to spend lots of time with my family walking along local beaches, looking for shells and glass. Now I have a family of my own, my children and I spend time exploring the West Sussex coastline and collecting treasure.
My collection really started when I began finding sea glass. Before this, we’d usually collect natural bits and pieces such as seed pods and feathers that ended up in the bin. But I started keeping hold of the little nuggets of smooth, worn-down sea glass, gradually adding it to a jar of finds.
I love finding rare cobalt blue pieces. I remember finding some on the beach with my grandad as a child. My brighter, striped pieces of glass came from Seaham in Durham. It was once home to a Victorian glass factory, and at the end of each day they’d throw all the waste glass into the sea. Almost a century later, it still washes up.
My photographs of our finds started as a way of documenting them. However, as my collection grew, I was able to play around and start creating more artistic images. My plastic collection started after I brought a few brighter pieces home to mix in with the more natural items I was photographing. I soon realised what unusual plastic treasures could be found – pieces of Lego, monopoly houses, golf tees and cracker toys are easy to find.
It’s made me more aware of the damage plastic does to our beaches. I like to think I’m helping, in a small way, to keep them clean.” www.scrapsofus.com