Aliens, comets and black holes could all be spotted on a South Shields beach.
They weren’t part of an extra terrestrial invasion - but the creative entries in this year’s Sandcastle Challenge by charity Children North East which had a ‘Star Struck – Explore the Cosmos’ theme.
More than 1,500 kids from primary schools across the region descend on Sandhaven Beach to take part in today’s challenge.
Marine Park Primacy School in South Shields, entered two teams and had been working with sponsors Cell Pack Solutions.
Graeme Moore, Year 6 teacher, said: “We’ve created two displays, one is a black hole with spinning planets being sucked in and the other is a planet with alien civilisation.
“We’re trying to create a moat by using some cling film around the alien planet, as the water is seeping into the sand - the kids have really thought this through.
“They’ve had a great time designing their entries and taking part.”
Mortimer Primary School’s Year 4 team was one of the first to finish their sand castles.
The group of 14 made a solar system called ‘Painted Planet’.
Elaine Shaw, class teacher, said: “We won in 2014 so we are trying to claim back our crown. The children made all the stars and the sun’s rays in school and have had a busy morning pulling everything together.”
Jeremy Cripps, chief executive of Children North East, said: “The Sandcastle Challenge is always a fantastic event. The children have such brilliant ideas and are so enthusiastic creating their designs on the beach.”
Prizes were awarded to fobe different winning teams who each took away £200, given by Sandcastle Challenge sponsor Galliford Try, for their school.
The overall business winner, who will win the much-coveted bronze Sandcastle Trophy, will be announced at the Sandcastle Ball on Friday, September 28.