As a child, my favourite days out were spent exploring the weird world of rockpools, building lopsided sand castles and toppling off surfboards into the waves. On warm summer evenings me and my family would run down to the beach with a barbeque to cook sausages and play rounders, then on cold, wintery afternoons we would wrap up in hats and scarves and walk along the cliffs.

I’m now 24 and am still going to the beach to do all the wonderful things I used to do when I was a younger (although I haven’t built a sandcastle in a while!). I love surfing on my days off with friends then snuggling up in warm jumpers with sandy toes and drinking hot chocolates.

But as well as providing me with lots of wonderful pastimes, the Ocean can be an amazing healer too. On days I’m not feeling myself, I will walk down to the waterfront to listen to the waves and take in the colours and reflections.

Human health and wellbeing are intrinsically linked with the health of our Ocean, so over the past few years I have tried to reduce my impact on the planet and no longer buy products that come in plastic and source more of my clothes from second hand shops.

The Ocean has played a huge part in shaping who I am, my passions, hobbies, career and wellbeing as well as providing me with many happy memories with family and friends.

I believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to experience the Ocean; to play in its waves, to taste the salty water, to feel slippery seaweed beneath their feet, and – most importantly – to search under barnacle encrusted rocks for crabs!

Lottie Hawkins