New outdoor arts festival at Woolacombe to celebrate sand dunes

Dynamic Dunescapes

On 20th and 21st of August North Devon National Trust and Dynamic Dunescapes will host the first Woolacombe Dunes Art Festival to celebrate the importance of sand dunes. These beautiful landscapes are a vital home for a range of incredible wildlife, and are brilliant spaces for our mental and physical wellbeing.

This two-day event will take place on Woolacombe Dunes and include an open-air art gallery, yoga and mindfulness workshops, and a range of self-guided activity trails through the sand dunes. The famous Woolacombe dunes cow trail will also be returning for the festival, with the opportunity to get involved with painting a new cow before it joins the others grazing in the dunes. Plus, throughout the weekend the festival will be filled with free, drop-in family activities such as beach art, grass painting, ‘seed bomb’ making and wood carving

A woman uses a pyrography iron to draw a bee design into a circle of wood

The crown jewel of the festival will be the art exhibition, which will showcase the wonderful sand dune-inspired art entries to the festival’s Dynamic Dunescapes Art Competition. The winners will be chosen by public vote at the festival and local businesses have provided some incredible prizes, including a hang-gliding or paragliding flight with Fly Like a Bird, and a surf lesson for you and a friend at Croyde.

You can enter the competition by sending a photograph of your artwork to, along with a confirmation of whether you are entering the under 16 or over 16 category. All submissions must be received by 23:59 on Monday August 15th 2022.

Full T&Cs can be found here

A painted cow sculpture is transported in a trailer through the dunes

Fraser Goodfellow is the North Devon National Trust’s Dynamic Dunescapes Engagement Officer, and has put together the event line up:

"I'm looking to create a celebration of sand dunes, the amazing plants & animals that live within them, and the way being in nature can help us feel. I'm really excited to be hosting the first Woolacombe Dunes Art Festival, and to see some of your fantastic artwork celebrating sand dunes. It's great to be hosting this event in Devon, where we have some of the most beautiful stretches of coastline, especially our sand dunes, providing us with some great artistic inspiration."

A gazebo and flags are set up for activities in the dunes
A group of brown cows stand in a field with the bay and sea behind them. The sunlight falls on the cows and is golden with long shadows

Sand dunes are an important habitat for a number of threatened species in Devon, from flowering plants like the bee orchid and marsh helleborine, to reptiles like slowworm and sand lizard. Songbirds like the skylark are a familiar feature of our coastal landscapes and make their homes in healthy sand dunes, as do plenty of mammals like weasels and dormice, which in turn support our larger bird of prey species like kestrel and red kite.

This free event is hosted by National Trust, in partnership with Dynamic Dunescapes, StudioKIND and a range of local artists and businesses. Dynamic Dunescapes is a project working to restore coastal sand dune habitats for people, communities and wildlife across England and Wales, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the EU LIFE Programme. Project partners are Natural England, Plantlife, Natural Resources Wales, National Trust and Wildlife Trusts, and North Devon National Trust are leading on the engagement works taking place in Devon.

A full schedule of events during the festival weekend can be found at: