The British coast holds many mysteries and marvels which are a testament to the nation’s seafaring history.
Now a call for help to survey and monitor the thousands of archaeological sites along England’s coast and tidal estuaries has been issued.
Armed with tape measures, buckets and mobile phones, volunteers will help create standardised records of exposed archaeological sites that are under threat. CITiZAN (the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network) is the first national community-led project to tackle the threat to our nationally important heritage.
One of the largest community archaeology projects in the country, taking in 5,600 miles of coastline over 500 miles of tidal foreshore, CITiZAN runs free community-based training, building a network of volunteers with the skills and systems needed to survey and monitor threatened sites.
Gustav Milne, CITiZAN project leader, said: “We can’t stop the tide but we can record these incredibly important archaeological sites before they are destroyed. We are calling on local communities to join our network and help to survey their local coastal heritage sites before they are lost forever.”
From Lindisfarne to Land’s End, remains of prehistoric forests, Roman buildings, ancient salt-working sites, lost medieval ports, fishing settlements, coastal defences from both world wars and countless abandoned boats, barges and ships lie exposed and are being washed away.
Hosted by MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), the CITiZAN project has been awarded £1.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, enhanced by the National Trust and The Crown Estate’s stewardship programme, along with support from Historic England.