Volunteers record the wreck of the Coonatto on National Trust land at Birling Gap

Join CITiZAN! Turn the tide on our coastal heritage

CITiZAN team
05.08.2015

Thousands of archaeological sites along England’s coast and tidal estuaries are being destroyed by extreme weather, rising sea levels and tidal scour. CITiZAN, the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network, is the first national community-led project to tackle the alarming threat to our heritage.

Over the last few months our CITiZAN team has been seeking out key sites and undertaking trial survey. Today we are calling for an army of volunteers to help survey and monitor these nationally-important but vulnerable archaeological sites before they disappear. To find out how to get involved please take a look at this short video or visit citizan.org.uk.

CITiZAN is one of the largest community archaeology projects in the country, taking in 5,600 miles of coastline over 500 miles of tidal foreshore. We run free community-based training, building a network of volunteers with the skills and systems needed to survey and monitor threatened sites. Armed with tape measures, buckets and mobile phones, volunteers create standardised records of exposed archaeological sites.

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.

Via a web-based recording system citizan.org.uk and app, a constantly evolving crowd-sourced database and interactive map of sites is being compiled. The database preserves the knowledge of these important sites forever and is a unique and valuable resource that opens the door to new research opportunities.

The CITiZAN project is hosted by MOLA but would not be possible without the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Trust, The Crown Estate and Historic England.

The three-year project operates across England from regional centres: at our headquarters in London, with partners the Council for British Archaeology in York and the Nautical Archaeology Society in Portsmouth.

For more information about CITiZAN and local training opportunities and events explore the CITiZAN website citizan.org.uk. For media enquiries please email media@mola.org.uk.

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