Local Businesses Help Author Ellie Take Ocean Plastics Message Into Schools

Ellie Jackson, a Looe resident and mother of four, has published two children’s books helping educate children about the impact of plastics on ocean ecosystems and these books are now being sponsored by local businesses to go into schools and communities around the country.

Duffy’s Lucky Escape, Marli’s Tangled Tale and Nelson’s Dangerous Dive are beautifully illustrated children’s books aimed at primary and preschool aged children, teaching them about the problem of ocean plastics and inspiring them to help. Each book follows the true story of a well loved animal as they encounter ocean plastic and how, through the help of people, the animals are rescued, rehabilitated and released back to their home.

Author, Ellie Jackson has recently moved to Looe from Australia and it was during a year on an island in the Great Barrier Reef that she saw a turtle being released into the sea. After teaching her young family about the link between plastic and turtles, her children were inspired to pick up rubbish on the beach to help save the turtles and thus the idea for Duffy began.    

“My children and I were transfixed by the sight of this beautiful creature being set free, and we subsequently visited a turtle hospital on the mainland to find out more,” Ellie remarks. “Afterwards, the children were obsessed with clearing litter from beaches, so that they could help protect turtles and other sea life.”

So far the books have sold very well, and Ellie’s ambition is to have a copy in every UK primary school. In order to achieve this Ellie has approached local businesses who have very kindly offered to sponsor all the schools in their wider community, reaching thousands of children with the books message. Local business owners comment “This is an issue that concerns me, as a father and member of the local community. Ellie’s books provided us with an opportunity to help raise awareness of these important issues in a way that’s clear and easy to understand. Our environment should be important to us all and I think teaching our children is the best way to help preserve their future and that of our planet.”

Children around the UK are now using the books as inspiration to take action in the form of organising their own beach cleans or litter picks, writing to government and local businesses asking them to consider their use of single use plastic such as straws, setting up recycling at school and at home and also working towards becoming Eco-Schools and Plastic Free Schools.

Each school receives an education pack consisting of three books and teaching resources. Ellie has been overwhelmed by the community support and states that “to have the support of local businesses to sponsor so many of the local schools has been wonderful – by educating young people, we’re safeguarding the future, and raising a more enlightened generation.”  

“The important thing is that the book reaches children and changes attitudes,” says Ellie, an ardent environmental campaigner who regularly organises litter picks with children on Cornwall’s beaches. “This is about protecting our oceans for all creatures, including future generations of humans.”

“By using engaging stories with fantastic illustrations by gifted artists like Launceston based Laura Callwood, we’re able to connect with children of all ages,” she reports. “It’s my view that projects like this can have a real impact by engaging whole communities with the issue and inspiring them to make the changes our environment so desperately needs.”

Over 500,000 children are using the books and working to make a change in the UK so far.  Ellie is asking for the whole community to support the children’s efforts by making small changes in your own lives which will collectively make a big difference to our environment. Refuse single use plastic such as straws, takeaway containers, disposable coffee mugs, plastic bags etc and know that every single time that you choose reusable over disposable you are helping to preserve our wildlife. Should anyone wish to purchase a copy of the books you can order online at or social media @wildtribeheroes.

Notes for editors:

Ellie Jackson returned to the UK from Australia in 2017, after her brother Dom Jackson drowned in a kayaking accident off the coast of Scotland. Duffy’s Lucky Escape was edited by Dom shortly before he died and is dedicated to his memory as well as being financed by money left in his Will.

Ellie lives in Looe, Cornwall with her husband and four children, and works full-time as a writer and campaigner. She has a degree in environmental science from the University of Birmingham, and taught geography for six years prior to starting her family.

The books into schools scheme is operating so far in Pembrokeshire, Cornwall, East Sussex, Nottingham, Cardiff and Aberdeen and has reached almost 500,000 children.

The danger to sea life of plastic in the oceans is a topic of great concern to global governments, with the UK government recently proposing their 25 year Environment Plan. Each year, 100 million sea creatures die as a direct result of plastic in the oceans – depleting biodiversity and impoverishing our environment.

Ellie is available for interview by local and national media. She is experienced in broadcast and print media, and has a track record of speaking with passion, clarity and engagement. Please contact to find out more. ENDS


My Story

I am a self-published children’s author who has written a series of books about the problem of ocean plastic. My books have reached over 500,000 children worldwide in the last 12 months. I have had personal letters of congratulations for the books from David Attenborough and Prince Charles, I am supported by all the major national marine charities, I have sold over 8,000 books in 12 months and I am now having them translated into over 15 different languages with the idea being that the books sold in the UK will fund the books going into schools in countries such as Indonesia, India and Kenya for example. I have been on the BBC and in the Guardian. The books are inspiring children around the country to get involved and make a difference by organising beach cleans, writing letters to local cafes asking them to stop serving plastic straws etc.

I lost my brother in a sea kayaking accident in February 2017 and I was living in Australia at the time. I came back to the UK for his funeral and ended up staying. I have four young children under 8, one of whom was 3 months at the time of the funeral. All I had was 4 suitcases and we had to start completely all over again as we didn’t return to Australia. My brother edited the books 2 weeks before he died and in his will he left me a small amount of money which I used to print the books. I do everything myself in terms of promotion, publishing and distributing the books.  

The books are based on a true story of when I lived on a tropical island in Australia for a year and witnessed first hand the problem of ocean plastic on turtles. My children were the inspiration for the book as they took the message about the turtles to heart and were determined to start cleaning beaches to save the turtles.

I have also set up a charity after my brother drowned to help raise awareness of safety planning in adventure sports and I am fully supported in this by the RNLI. The RNLI even invited me to Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday party at Buckingham Palace in May 2018 to say thank you for all the work I have done in raising awareness. I also have the support in the charity of Bear Grylls, Helen Skeller and industry wide professionals and businesses.

I have achieved all of this in a year whilst dealing with 4 young children, a major international move, starting new schools, actively campaigning in the ocean plastic movement by starting local groups, organising beach cleans etc, volunteering as a Brownie leader all whilst dealing with the loss of my younger brother at just 35 years old. He was lost at sea in bad weather and may have paddled 50 miles in the open ocean, freezing cold and dark across the Moray Firth in Scotland only to drown in the surf as he was coming into shore on the other side.

It has been an incredibly difficult yet inspiring year and I know my brother would be incredibly proud of everything that is happening because of him – books, charities, moving countries etc – none of this would have happened in the way it has had he not died which is very sad but also trying to make something positive.


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