No matter whether wooden wrecks, fish traps, metal planes or individual finds are your thing, come and practice your archaeological skills on the beach at Sandwich Flats!

What are we doing?

On 9th-13th March 2020, for the sixth time in three years, we're going back to Sandwich Flats to keep recording the amazing amount of archaeological sites along this beach. We're teaming up with CITiZAN East Kent Coast Discovery Programme to run training and fieldwork opportunities for people of all interests and abilities.

As always, there will be a focus on developing participants' archaeological skills as well as creating up to date records of the sites we discover. Depending on the experience and interest of our fieldwork team, we will offer a range of activities including:

  • Walk-over survey
  • 2D measured tape survey
  • GPS surveys of wreck sites, fish traps and individual finds
  • Wreck conservation assessments
  • CITiZAN training
  • Photogrammetry recording
  • Beach level monitoring
  • Site Recorder practice 
  • Use of the CITiZAN app to record coastal features

We will tailor the fieldwork to the interests and abilities of the participants and will be out on the beach for as long as the tide will let us!

A team of NAS and CITiZAN staff will lead the fieldwork, with members of both groups and local volunteers participating for as many days as they like. There will be official CITiZAN training on Tuesday and Wednesday - but places are limited so book here

Who can participate?
Anyone! Young or old, novice or experienced avocational archaeologists – everyone is welcome to participate for free. Anyone under 18 years old must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Image: 'Look at all the archaeology out there!' The 2018 MSDS/NAS/Volunteer team.

How do I sign up?
Places are limited so book your free place on our foreshore fieldwork by sending an email to [email protected] with the following information by Friday 28th February 2020:

  • The name/s of the people attending
  • The day/s you want to attend
  • Whether you will need to be picked up from Sandwich train station or will drive
  • Mobile number
  • Age of participants if under 18 years old
  • Any disabilities or medical conditions that will be relevant to the fieldwork
  • The number of nights’ accommodation you require, if necessary. See details below.

Where will it take place?
The majority of survey work will take place on the beach directly opposite the Prince's Golf Club and to the north (see images below).

There is a toll of £7/day for visiting cars to Sandwich Estate. This fee is waived for those staying with us at the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory.

Each day we will meet at the car park, shown in the images below, for a safety and site briefing and will then walk out to the sites.

The postcode for Prince's Golf Club will take you past this car park: Prince's Dr, Sandwich Bay, Sandwich CT13 9QB (there’s no postcode for the car park itself. Please do not park inside Prince's Golf Club as this is a private area.

What have we found so far?

The answer is - a lot more than we thought! Apart from the ten shipwrecks, one plane wreck and the individual finds there are hundreds of wooden stakes on the beach which we think are the remains of fish traps... but we're not sure yet!

What is the timetable?
Each day will start with a safety briefing and site briefing followed by as many hours in the field as the tide allows. After cleaning ourselves up, we will write up the days’ findings and then spend the afternoon practising certain archaeological techniques or visiting the local archives to try and find out more about these archaeological sites!

Provisional timetable

Date Monday 9th March Tuesday 10th March Wednesday 11th March Thursday 12th March Friday 13th March Saturday 14th March
Fieldwork time 6am-8:30am 6am-8:30am 6am-9:30am 6:30-10am 7:30-10:30am 8:30-11:30am
Writing up and processing data 9-11am 9-11am 10am-12noon 10:30am-12:30pm 11am-1pm 12noon-1:30pm
Lunch 11am-noon 11am-noon Noon-1pm 12:30-1:30pm 1-2pm 1:30-2:30pm
Afternoon activities Deal Archives Research Archaeology workshops Informal session on post-fieldwork tasks Deal Archives Research Informal session on post-fieldwork tasks Go home!
Evening activities Group dinner Group dinner Group dinner Group dinner Movie night!

Where can I stay?
We’ll be staying at the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust http://sbbot.org.uk/visit-us/stay-with-us/ which is 6 minutes drive to the fieldwork site.

It is good basic accommodation with twin share rooms and communal bathroom and kitchen. It will cost £25/night for a same gender twin share room with breakfast and dinner included. It is recommended that you stay the night before you join us for fieldwork and training.

Book accommodation through [email protected] by 21st February 2020. Priority will be given to people who stay for more than one night/day of fieldwork.

What do I need to bring?
We will provide all the survey equipment, PPE, sunscreen and water. You just need to bring:

  • Wellingtons 
  • Suitable outdoor clothing (drysuit or fishermen’s waders are recommended)
  • Morning snacks
  • Mobile phone

What will it cost?
Participating in the fieldwork is free however there will be some costs incurred by you:

  • Travel to and from site
  • Accommodation near site
  • Wellingtons
  • Food (only snacks and lunch if you are staying at the Bird Observatory)

How do I sign up?
Places are limited so book your free place on our foreshore fieldwork by sending an email to [email protected] with the following information by Friday 28th February 2020:

  • The name/s of the people attending
  • The day/s you want to attend
  • Mobile number
  • Age of participants if under 18 years old
  • Any disabilities or medical conditions that will be relevant to the fieldwork
  • The number of nights’ accommodation you require, if necessary.