CITiZAN (Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network)

Project partner: 
Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, The Crown Estate, Historic England, Council for British Archaeology, Nautical Archaeology Society

Significant archaeological sites along our sinuous coast and on the foreshores of our tidal estuaries are continually eroded by winds, waves and tidal scour. CITiZAN (Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network) is the first systematic national response to this threat.

The project focuses on nationally important, exposed archaeological sites: the 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. The CITiZAN project delivers community-based training to create an infrastructure and network of volunteers with the skills and systems to be able to record, monitor and celebrate the highly significant, but fragile and threatened archaeological sites.

Heritage Minister, Tracey Crouch,  said: "As someone who grew up on the coast I believe this to be a hugely important project to record the fascinating history of our coastline. The 70,000 sites that are at risk tell the story of our shared national heritage, so it's vital they are surveyed before the sea takes them. No where in Britain is more than 70 miles from the coast, so I would urge anyone to take the opportunity to get involved."

The project has developed a standardised survey, monitoring and web-based recording system and delivers a national training programme to participants through three regional centres, in London with project lead MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), in York with partner organisation the Council for British Archaeology and in Portsmouth with the Nautical Archaeology Society. A national network is being established to monitor, record, and interpret coastal and intertidal sites, and actively engage CITiZAN volunteers through the website and outreach programme.

CITiZAN is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England, the National Trust and Lloyds Register Fund with additional support from The Crown Estate.

For more information on the project, or to become a volunteer, please visit or contact us at

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  • Josh Frost leads the Thames Discovery Programme Tadpoles session (c) MOLA.jpg

    Community Engagement

    We run community archaeology programmes that stimulate enquiry and promote active discovery.
  • Archaeological assessment on the intertidal Thames foreshore

    Marine, Coastal and Intertidal

    From assessment to site surveys, our marine, coastal and intertidal services are grounded in specialist knowledge.
  • CITiZAN appeal

    Make a donation to the CITiZAN appeal and support this nationally-important coastal archaeology project.