How beach cleans spawned a creative new hobby for Blackpool bride-to-be

Beach-mad hotelier, Lyndsay Fieldsend, is making her own wedding accessories out of shells and driftwood she collected while picking rubbish off the beach

By Lucinda Herbert, Apprentice Journalist
Monday, 21st February 2022, 6:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 9:48 am

Lyndsay Fieldsend started cleaning up the beach but it soon turned into a creative new hobby.

The beach-mad hotelier started collecting sea glass, and turned her hand to jewellery making during the 2020 lockdown.

She joined in beach cleans organised by LoveMyBeach, but amongst the microplastics and debris she started to notice all the pretty things along the shoreline.

Lyndsay Fieldsend makes her own wedding bouquet using shells and driftwood found on Blackpool beach

So she’d pick them up.

She said: “It was almost like the sea was rewarding me with something beautiful. The more plastic I took, the more beautiful things I’d find.

I cried with joy when I found my first bit of pirate glass [rare black sea glass]. It’s so magical.”

43 year old Lyndsay is from Barnsley, but since moving to Blackpool in 2011 she can’t imagine living anywhere without a beach.

“There’s something about the sound of the ocean, the pull of the sea is magnetic.”

She owns the Trafalgar hotel in South Shore, with her fiance, Craig Dobson, 43.

When the business temporarily closed in the pandemic, she had time to fill.

So the mum of two ordered some wire cutters, chains and wire after seeing a YouTube video about jewellery making.

Lyndsay created one-off trinkets, bottles and treasure boxes using shells, sea glass and driftwood - some she gave to friends.

She also displays some pieces in the entrance to her hotel. But she won’t sell them.

“It doesn’t feel right. I’m grateful for what the beach gives me and it’s my way of passing it on.”

Her 16 year old daughter, Jasmine, also had a go - and used fused sea glass in an art project that earned her a place to study a BTEC in Art and Design at Blackpool Sixth Form.

And now Lyndsay has a new project - planning a wedding.

Lyndsay and Craig are set to marry this July. The ocean-loving artist is crafting her bouquet, accessories, and gifts for her guests, out of her beach-finds.

She feels calm and happy when she walks on the sand near her home in South Shore.

She also walks further up the Fylde coast and shares pictures on a Facebook group, called Blackpool Sea Watchers.

“I was amazed at some of the creatures we get here, you just have to look. I spotted dolphins, sea manatees and grey seals by Gynn Square.” and thinks people often take it for granted when it’s on the doorstep.

While it is illegal to take stones or sand from a beach, there is no law against taking driftwood and sea glass. Shells are fine to take, but make sure they aren't inhabited by living organisms first.