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CITiZAN Coastal and intertidal project

Coast to coast

Recording England’s vanishing heritage

Thousands of heritage sites lie all along England’s coastline and tidal estuaries, but many are under serious threat. A new community-led project aims to record them before they disappear forever, as Stephanie Ostrich explains.

In July, a small team of eager volunteers assembled beneath the fragile chalk cliffs at Birling Gap on the Sussex coastline. They were there to catch an unusually low tide that would reveal the wrecked timbers of the Coonatto, a London-built clipper that went down in a storm in 1876 on its way back to England from port in Adelaide. This is just one of thousands of coastal and estuary projects currently being monitored by the newly instigated CITiZAN project. But why, and what are we doing?

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Launched this summer, CITiZAN, the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network, is the first nation-wide project to endeavour to record over 6,000 miles of coastal and intertidal archaeology across England. Many of these sites are severely at risk from wind, waves, tidal scour, and human activity. Much of our island’s history is simply being washed away, sometimes before it is even seen. Ours is the first large-scale response to these natural and anthropogenic threats in England.

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current archaeology | www.archaeology.co.uk below The remains of the Coonatto, wrecked off the coast of Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex, are explored by a member of the CITiZAN team.

January 2014 |

September 2015 |