National Park seeks volunteers for Coastal Heritage Project

Published Tuesday 26 January 2010

Digging, diving and data-recording opportunities are on offer to volunteers who would like to take part in the Coastal Heritage Project being led by the New Forest National Park Authority.

The project was set up to fully record the archaeology of the coastal area and to share this with as many people as possible.  Known discoveries of human activity date from prehistoric periods 125,000 years ago to the Cold War, and project organisers believe there is much more waiting to be uncovered.

‘We are looking for willing volunteers with an interest in the outdoors, archaeology or local history to join our team for a season of fieldwork both above and below the waterline,’ said James Brown, the Authority’s Maritime Archaeology Education and Outreach Officer.

The volunteers will have the opportunity to work alongside professional archaeologists to carry out site surveys, excavations, monitoring and recording.  ‘The Authority is offering various training sessions so that helpers can learn new archaeological skills or refresh forgotten ones,’ James added.

The project also needs diving volunteers qualified to CMAS 2* level, equivalent to Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Rescue Diver or British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) Sports Diver.  They will take part in archaeological underwater surveys, recording and monitoring sites throughout the year.

The Authority will offer some divers who have not quite reached this standard the opportunity to be instructed to the required level.  ‘Volunteers with a real interest will have their training costs covered by the project, so anyone wanting to take part should apply soon for an interview,’ said James.  ‘We will ask for a commitment from the successful applicants to a set number of volunteer dive days during summer 2010.’

Anyone who would like to take part can contact James direct on 01590 646695 or email  Online applications can be made at

The New Forest Coastal Heritage Project extends beyond the National Park boundary north to Redbridge and west to the Hampshire – Dorset border, covering 82 km of coast and including the area 10 metres above sea level through the intertidal zone to six nautical miles offshore.   

It is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage with support from Hampshire County Council, ExxonMobil and The Crown Estate and forms part of the larger national English Heritage Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment programme.  


Media contact:
Claire Sherwood, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel. 01590 646649 (08:30 – 13:30)

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