Discover Swanage Pier’s amazing wildlife in new exhibition

Swanage Pier is offering a rare glimpse of life under its waves with an underwater photography exhibition.

Award winning photographers Paul and Alison Pettit have captured an incredible series of snapshots showing the depths below Swanage Pier, which will be displayed for all to see over the coming weeks.


The first part of the exhibition will go live on Swanage Pier Trust’s website on Wednesday 23rd December 2020, followed by more photos in the week leading to New Year’s Eve.

Amanda Bowden, Swanage Pier Trust’s activities and volunteer coordinator, said:

“We’re extremely lucky to be able to put on an exhibition of some stunning photographs taken by local photographers Paul and Alison Pettit. We were hoping to put on an outdoor exhibition, but the COVID-19 restrictions stopped us. 

“The pictures give such a fascinating glimpse into the underwater world that we decided to share them online in two short exhibitions.”

Diving under Swanage Pier
Alison Pettitt

Swanage is “one of my favourite dives”

Swanage has always been a popular destination for divers, featuring the oldest diving school in the country – Divers Down – which opened in 1958.

Paul and Alison, who are based in Worth Matravers, are among the regulars at the pier.

Paul said:

“I’ve dived all over the world and the pier is still one of my favourite dives. Even when the visibility is not particularly good, there is so much to see and focus on. 

“Some of my favourite creatures are only a few centimetres long but they would not look out of place in a Dr Who episode. At the other end of the scale, I was lucky enough to swim with the dolphin that was seen around the pier in 2019.”

Under Swanage Pier
Paul Pettitt
Under Swanage Pier
Alison Pettitt

Under the sea

The photography exhibition reveals many of the magnificent sights that can be found in the sea under Swanage Pier.

Amanda Bowden added:

“People often think that the waters around the UK coast are dull and boring, but Paul and Alison’s pictures put paid to that myth. The exhibitions are full of unusual and colourful creatures.”

Visit the exhibition online

View the exhibition on the Swanage Pier Trust website.

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