Case Studies


Widening access to HEC resources through citizen science.

Grant awarded: £100,000

Timeframe: 2019-2024



Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA)’s award-winning Coastal and InterTidal Zone Archaeological Network (CITiZAN) will widen access and inform best use of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation Heritage and Education Centre archive and resources through a robust programme incorporating citizen science, public outreach, higher education opportunities and professional development.

As a community-based project, CITiZAN engages with new and diverse audiences by using citizen science to document at-risk archaeology in the UK, including ports like Liverpool, Southampton, Hull and London, with an international perspective. By integrating HEC collections, the project will add more detail to MOLA’s research, and materially extend its scope. This will enhance the appeal, interest and relevance of the research for wider audiences, to the mutual benefit of both HEC and CITiZAN.


During the five years of the project, CITiZAN will greatly improve HEC’s route to impact. It will facilitate collaborations with new audiences that HEC have not targeted before, including the voluntary sector, coastal landholders and managers, environmentalists, universities, statutory bodies and diverse local communities around the English coast. Within these groups, CITiZAN will raise awareness of maritime heritage threatened by coastal erosion and encourage new avenues of research into the results of fieldwork using HEC resources.

Improving public understanding of the HEC maritime collections: Training sessions and workshops focusing on maritime heritage include guidance on HEC resources, among which learning materials for six regional Discovery Programmes and best-practice guidelines to promote responsible coastal stewardship.

Engaging new and diverse audiences with HEC resources and archives: The Discovery Programmes utilise targeted approaches to engage a wider and more diverse audience of people with HEC resources. This includes partnering with various local community organisations and service providers to deliver workshops, events and talks to targeted groups. HEC’s international reach is being enhanced by encouraging citizen scientists and MA students to undertake research on topics such as impacts of the maritime sector on world trade and trade routes.

Deepening the understanding of citizen science: Various ways in which the public can engage with the HEC collections are being highlighted by signposting citizen scientists to HEC resources while maintaining digital content linked to HEC on CITiZAN’s website and social media channels. HEC data is also being incorporated into the England Coast Path project through CITiZAN’s Low-Tide Trails. Crowd sourced photographs and data can assist in deepening HEC’s knowledge of the UK’s maritime heritage landscapes.


CITiZAN is being prolific in its outreach and public engagement, with hundreds of blogs published, as well as a digital exhibition, televised programmes, online public lectures, and training sessions.

Research undertaken by the team’s participants and higher education students is being incorporated into some of the targeted outreach and educational work. Online resources related to HEC collections include guidance on desk-based archaeology, interactive pages, and geo-referenced trails and reports.

The CITiZAN team can be seen in action in the three-part series Britain at Low Tide broadcasted on Channel 4. Presented by Dr Tori Herridge, it showcases Britain’s vanishing coastal heritage, the amazing stories revealed on our shores through archaeology, and the work of CITiZAN, and other professional and community-led groups, especially Tom Dawson’s SCHARP in Scotland. All episodes are available on YouTube.

Above: Hear from CITiZAN's Gustav Milne speaking about the project at the Lloyd's Register Foundation International Conference in 2019.

The CITiZAN data was deposited with the Archaeology Data Service in September 2022. The records were created between July 2015 and July 2022 and showcase information on 3878 features created, edited, or updated during the project's lifetime, as well as 5761 images added to those features.

The features created and updated since July 2022 are being submitted to the Archaeology Data Service throughout 2023 for archiving and dissemination. The continued participation of the public through the use of the CITiZAN app and interactive map will be monitored, with the resulting data moderated and deposited with the Archaeology Data Service.

In May 2023, part of the LRF funding was directed towards the development phase of the CITiZAN Coasts in Mind project, used to directly support the 16-25-year-old Community Citizen Scientists to be trained in the use of the LRF HEC digital resources, including images and documentation which demonstrate changes in and around their community coastline. These images and documents will later form a map of geographical ‘hot spots’ where the archive holds strong evidence of coastal change.

Check out our Archaeology Resources page for links to similar resources.