CITiZAN explore archaeology on the Mersey (c) CITiZAN

New CITiZAN Discovery Programmes awarded National Lottery funding to target regions where coastal archaeology is vulnerable to extreme erosion

MOLA team

CITiZAN, the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network, has been awarded £1,764,700 of National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish six Discovery Programmes in areas where the risk to intertidal and coastal archaeology is extreme. Thanks to National Lottery players the CITiZAN Discovery Programmes will be established on sites on the Mersey, the Humber, the Blackwater, the Kent coast, the Solent and three rivers in Devon in 2019.

Over the past three years CITiZAN has developed a community-based programme in England that records and monitors threatened coastal and intertidal archaeological sites. Archaeological remains are preserved by record by local volunteers using a standardised survey system available via the CITiZAN app. The detailed records have already revealed new information about the rich history and former landscapes of our coast, from a Bronze Age well and ancient timber trackways, to the remains of several shipwrecks and even a First World War German U-boat. The programme is also providing invaluable data on long-term trends in relative sea level rise, coastal change and, crucially, climate change.

Here's a short video about the CITiZAN Discovery Programmes...

CITiZAN Discovery Programmes

The value of our initial three-year National Lottery funded project (2015-2018) has been recognised with several awards, including the national Charity Award for Arts, Culture and Heritage and the British Archaeological Award for Best Community Engagement Archaeology Project.

The new three-year programme will train and engage groups from across the coastal communities in six key regions and will also include courses for rangers and stewards on National Trust and National Park sites as well as digital resources for walkers on Natural England’s England Coast Path initiative, formally opening in 2020.

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “Our coastlines are full of the most extraordinary hidden heritage, from ancient settlements to the remnants of industry and war. However, that heritage is under threat and at risk of being lost forever, which is why National Lottery funding for a new wave of citizen scientists is so crucial. This is an incredible opportunity for people to join an award-winning volunteer programme and make a real difference to the record of the history of our island nation.”

CITiZAN is a MOLA project, run in partnership with the Council for British Archaeology and the Nautical Archaeology Society. The new three-year project is possible owing to generous support from the National Lottery, with additional support from the National Trust, Historic England and The Crown Estate.

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