Home News Go on a coastal adventure with The Snail and the Whale

Go on a coastal adventure with The Snail and the Whale


Explore England’s coastline

This summer sees the launch of a unique partnership between the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), Natural England and Macmillan Children’s Books, celebrating 15 years of The Snail and the Whale, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s classic tale of adventure and friendship.

First published in 2003, The Snail and the Whale tells the story of a tiny snail who hitches a lift around the world on the tail of “a great big, grey-blue humpback whale”. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins. The little snail feels so small in the vastness of the world but when disaster strikes and the whale is beached in a bay, it’s the tiny snail’s big plan that saves the day.

Macmillan Children’s Books, MMO and Natural England want to encourage families to go on their own big adventures this summer, exploring The England Coast Path. While visitors might not see icebergs, sharks and penguins, with the help of their ‘The Snail and the Whale Coastal Adventure’ booklet they will have all the tools and information they need to explore their coast – from matching animals to their coastal homes and learning fun marine animal facts to advice about keeping our coasts free from marine litter.

The booklet is available to download now from the MMO website and also at special events celebrating The Snail and the Whale and this fantastic partnership throughout 2018.

Julia Donaldson said:

“I am delighted that fifteen years after Axel and I created The Snail and the Whale our story continues to encourage young readers to get out and engage with nature and the world around them. I hope that children exploring the England Coast Path can gaze “at the sky, the sea, the land, the waves and the caves and the golden sand” and be just as amazed as the snail.”

The MMO licenses, regulates and plans marine activities in the seas around England so that they’re carried out in a sustainable way.

Gareth Hern, MMO Communications Advisor, said:

“We are delighted to be involved with this partnership. The Snail and the Whale is a tale of exploration and we want to encourage people to explore our beautiful and diverse marine areas.

“In the story, the snail feels small and insignificant but does something amazing in the end. Children and young people will have a huge part to play in protecting our marine areas so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Natural England is the government’s independent adviser on the natural environment. Their work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public.

Neil Constable, Natural England Programme Manager for England Coast Path said:

“The England Coast Path is playing a valuable role in opening up access to our nation’s remarkable coastline. Whether you are taking a short stroll or embarking on your own long distance adventure, it provides the perfect opportunity for everyone to explore the coast’s beauty and diversity.”

Belinda Ioni Rasmussen, Macmillan Children’s Books Publisher, said:

“We are proud to be the publisher of Julia and Axel’s classic story of friendship and teamwork, and thrilled to be partnering with Natural England and MMO, bringing this favourite family story to life for a whole new generation of intrepid young explorers.

“It is wonderful that fifteen years after this picture book was first published the tiny snail and the grey-blue humpback whale continue to have new and exciting adventures.”

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