BUDDING artists are being encouraged to embrace the outdoors and potentially win a trip to the USA.

The European Land Art Festival returns to Dunbar this summer, with the overall first prize a place at the Llano Earth Art Festival World Rock Stacking Championships in Texas.

James Craig Page, who founded the county event, was counting down to the festival, which starts on July 4 and runs to July 9.

Mr Page said: “People are definitely really relishing and needing to get out into nature to be creative and to really absorb all the health benefits of nature, sunshine and vitamin D brings to ourselves.

“It is a way of relaxing, tuning into your own creativity, to nature in general and learning to observe what is around you.”

Traditionally, events have centred round the Eye Cave Beach. However, part of the clifftop walking route above the popular beach collapsed in March, so the rocky stretch below is now off limits.

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Mr Page said: “There have been a few ups and downs, especially with the Eye Cave Beach being unavailable.

“We had to find a new site and decided to hold it at the Bayswell Beach, below the Rocks Hotel. That is going to be the new venue for the events on July 7-9.”

The festival opens with a sand drawing demonstration and sandcastle building competition on East Beach.

The following day, July 5, there will be mosaic, stone stacking and mandala workshops at Empire Close, off High Street.

Attention switches to Lochend Woods on July 6 for an art trail and drop-in forest workshop, with a range of artists, including Sterling Gregory and James Brunt, heading to the event.

Then, there will be a community sand drawing competition at Belhaven Bay on July 7, followed by a community beach mosaic and family fun day, as well as live music in Dunbar Royal British Legion.

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Mr Page told the Courier that funding was still being sourced but the festival would go ahead regardless.

He has been at the heart of the nature art festival since the John Muir Stone Stacking Challenge in 2016.

He said: “When myself and Steven Hill first discussed putting on this event, it was just on a wing and a prayer.

“How it has developed is literally quite amazing.

“The response we have had from the BBC and worldwide publicity and from artists round the world has been phenomenal.

“The benefits it has brought to Dunbar, it has been very worthwhile and outstanding really to support the community. It is great for the local economy. It has consistently brought in literally hundreds of thousands of pounds in the last six or seven years.

“That is something we hope to continue with the support of traders.”