Shipwreck dives, beach cleans and citizen science projects all part of exciting SeaScapes project for our coast

Beach cleans, shipwreck dives and citizen science projects are all in store as the team behind a £5million coastal project set out their stall.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 4:01 pm
The newly formed SeaScapes team Karen Daglish, SeaScapes Manager; Vicky Ward, Access and Volunteering Officer; Louise Harrington, Beach Care Officer; Peter Carr, Finance & Grants Officer; Suzy O’Hara, Creative Engagement Producer; Sarah Campbell, BlueScapes Officer; and Dorinda Kealoha, Intertidal Interactive Officer.
The newly formed SeaScapes team Karen Daglish, SeaScapes Manager; Vicky Ward, Access and Volunteering Officer; Louise Harrington, Beach Care Officer; Peter Carr, Finance & Grants Officer; Suzy O’Hara, Creative Engagement Producer; Sarah Campbell, BlueScapes Officer; and Dorinda Kealoha, Intertidal Interactive Officer.

The team behind SeaScapes, the the UK’s first marine Landscape Partnership scheme, are using World Ocean Day on June 8 to showcase their plans.

SeaScapes is a partnership of organisations across the natural, cultural and heritage sectors that have come together to better protect and celebrate the unique coastline and marine environment to six nautical miles out between the rivers Tyne and Tees.

It is funded by a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £2.8million, matched by partner contributions and volunteer time.

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It aims to benefit communities in South Tyneside, Sunderland, Hartlepool, and Durham, delivering 23 projects – both on-shore and beneath the sea – over the next three years.

Councils, wildlife trusts, heritage groups, the National Trust, and universities are all involved in the project, with experts drawn from the pool to sit on the management team.

Karen Daglish, SeaScapes Manager, said SeaScapes’ core focus is for the communities and individuals feel more connected with the sea, with activities designed to inspire coastal communities to take a walk on the beach, look out to sea and question what lies beneath the waves.

“There are stories waiting to be told from the Zechstein Sea (now the North Sea), through ice ages, wars and significant industrial history up to the present day”, she said.

“We want people to start to question how they interact with the ocean, and how being by the ocean has influenced their lives. Also, how we, as humans, have impacted on the Tyne to Tees marine environment over time, and how this in turn will lead to positive action to better protect our marine landscape.”

Lawrence Brown, chairman of SeaScapes, said: “As we emerge from Covid-19, having seen so many people take great comfort and support from being next to, in, or on, the sea, now is the time for stakeholders to engage with the SeaScapes project and realise the difference their efforts can make.

“Many studies have shown that spending time by the sea has a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. With visitors to our coastline more than doubling over the last year, it is a great opportunity to shed more light on why the Tyne to Tees seascape is special and deserves more attention.”

Activities communities and businesses can get involved in over the next few years include:

:: Beach cleans

:: Family oriented activities, such as rock pooling

:: Habitat surveys and habitat creation of the Durham Argus Butterfly on coastal cliffs

:: An Citizen Science programme

:: Community archaeology exploring coastal defence structures

:: Field names survey to trace how townships have evolved around the sea

:: School projects looking at how communities change over time as their relationship with the sea has changes

:: Shipwreck dives with Newcastle University and local dive clubs

:: A programme of on water activity – sailing, canoeing etc.

For more information about SeaScapes, visit exploreseascapes.co.uk or follow SeaScapes @tynetotees on Twitter and Instagram or on their Facebook page.