CITiZAN volunteers recording the wreck of the Coonatto at the National Trust’s Birling Gap. (IMAGE CITiZAN)

A community archaeology project focused on vulnerable intertidal and coastal sites has won the Arts, Culture, and Heritage prize at the Charity Awards 2018 – Civil Society Media’s annual awards programme to recognise organisations for their commendable charitable work.

Launched in 2015, CITiZAN (the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network) is hosted by MOLA with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Trust, the Crown Estate, and Historic England, along with project partners the Council for British Archaeology and the Nautical Archaeology Society (see CA 306). The initiative aims to tackle time and tide by monitoring and recording archaeological sites that are threatened by the devastating effects of coastal erosion and tidal scour.

The project uses a specially designed app and interactive coastal map to record heritage sites by crowd-sourcing data. Since its inception, more than 1,500 new archaeological features have been logged, and more than 2,300 surveys monitoring ongoing coastal erosion created. The initiative has also trained 583 ‘citizen scientists’ by delivering over 350 free community-based sessions and public events. These volunteers, as well as helping to map these sites, have rediscovered the Bronze Age shaft at Belle Tout in East Sussex, uncovered a Roman coastal trackway in Calshot, Hampshire, and highlighted the impact of the First World War on the nation’s shores (see CA 324). These tireless efforts have resulted in a database providing an invaluable resource to help preserve England’s coastal and tidal heritage well into the future.

Commenting on the win, Stephanie Ostrich, CITiZAN Project Officer, said, ‘We’re so proud to have won this prestigious award. It’s an amazing recognition of the work that our incredible volunteers have done so far and the impact that innovative thinking can have to help tackle the challenge of recording our threatened coastal heritage and create best practice.’ To find out more about CITiZAN, visit or to get involved,

This article appeared in CA 341.

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