Thanks in part to television programmes like Blue Planet, there’s an unprecedented public interest in our seas and in marine conservation. So much of our natural, industrial, cultural and maritime heritage lies out-of-sight beneath the waves and through SeaScapes we’re looking forward to giving it more attention.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund is showcasing its commitment to coastal and marine heritage in the North of England by awarding £2.78m to the Tyne to Tees, Shores and Seas Partnership scheme (SeaScapes) – the only scheme of its kind to be supported by The Fund. This grant has allowed an exciting and long-anticipated £5 million North East coastal project to begin, which will benefit communities in South Tyneside, Sunderland, Durham and Hartlepool over the next four years. The project has taken three and a half years of detailed planning and preparation.
The current Covid pandemic restrictions has meant a delay on recruitment to the Project, however this is now underway and background work has also been delayed but is now ongoing as restrictions allow.
The SeaScapes scheme will deliver 23 projects – both on-shore and beneath the sea – from South Shields to Teesmouth over the next four years. Its partnership and community approach to protecting and celebrating this fascinating stretch of coastline will be the first of its kind in the UK. Focussing on the often-overlooked coast between South Shields and Seaton Carew, SeaScapes will offer opportunities for visitors from the local area and further afield to explore the heritage hidden beneath the waves, take part in ‘snorkel safaris,’ and allow them to enjoy being on and in the sea – all against the backdrop of dramatic cliff-top views and a rich shoreline that is home to a breeding colony of Little Terns, one of Britain’s rarest sea birds each May.
The Project will also seek to strengthen understanding of the sea and our relationships with it, encouraging people to get involved with a beach care programme to address the ever-increasing marine litter problem.
This funding is fantastic news for everyone living on and visiting this very special stretch of coastline.
The heritage of the Tyne to Tees seascape is locally and nationally significant and deserves to be better explored and celebrated. SeaScapes will do just that. The project is the result of a huge team effort and a lot of planning and we can’t wait to get started!
The project will stimulate communities to have a real and positive impact on our natural world and will make sure that it can still be enjoyed by future generations. We know that encouraging people to get outside will boost their wellbeing, and the beautiful coastline that Seascapes will showcase is the perfect backdrop for it.
Visit our projects page for more information on the various exciting projects as they unfold!
SeaScapes is only possible because of the open collaboration and support from all the partners involved which include:
SeaScapes focuses on the often overlooked Magnesian Limestone coast between the Rivers Tyne and Tees.
Whilst perceptions of this coastline are blighted by its industrial past, this seascape is bound in character by unique geology, the natural environment and a shared cultural heritage.
Once smothered in colliery spoil, this coastline has seen major regeneration over the last few decades. This has reinvigorated its seascape into life. Recent surveys have documented lobsters, soft corals and an abundance of fish – just waiting to be better explored.