No matter whether wooden wrecks, fish traps, metal planes, historic bottles or old bullets are your thing, come and help record and investigate the amazing finds on the beach at Sandwich Flats!

Since 2018 we've been running community archaeology projects on this amazing 5-mile stretch of beach in Kent, UK. Plans are under way to do more. Want to get involved? Then contact [email protected] to be put on the emailing list.

At the moment we are running a series of public low-tide beach walks.


Join other locals for a series of free monthly beach walks. Discover what the extremely low tides have revealed and help learn more about this amazing beach.

6:30am-8am, Tuesday 9th April

6:30am-8am, Wednesday 8th May

Departing from the carpark south of Princes Golf Club, CT13 9QB

Then warm up with a cuppa and a biscuit and chat about what we found, at Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust, CT13 9PF. 

All are welcome. Just turn up!

We're also developing a map app that allows anyone to record their finds on the beach and share their discoveries with others. Check it out here -

If you want to hear what some of our volunteers and students have got to say about their Sandwich experience? Check out their blogs:
Wrecked by fish traps    
You Never Know What You’re Going To Find     
Blondie, Boats and the Bay      
All along the foreshore
Volunteers search for the wreck of the 'Juno'

What can you find on the beach at Sandwich Flats?
Apart from the ten shipwrecks and one plane wreck that are visible most low tides, there are hundreds of wooden stakes on the beach which are the remains of fish traps. And every tide brings new individual artefacts either uncovered from the beach or washed up from wrecks further out to sea. It's different and wonderful every day!

Check out our geolocated map of all the sites we've found so far. Put the map on your phone and use it to find all the sites while walking on the beach.

What more needs to be done?
There's a lot of local interest in the artefacts and remains that are found on the beach - just check out all the different active Facebook pages showing the things that people find every day! But there is nowhere to record all these finds and information so that it can be brought together and used to learn more about the history of the area.

  • We propose to start a regular monthly walk at the best low tides so that locals can work together to record and investigate their heritage on the beach.
  • We're going to improve our geolocated map so that people can easily record their finds on it making the discoveries accessible to everyone to learn from.
  • We'll get specialists to come and teach us how to research bottles and bullets, pots and planks and any other type of finds that are made on the beach.
  • All this information then needs to be shared to the wider public through an information board near the beach, flyers, museum displays and any other way that the locals want to share their knowledge.

But we need financial help to make this all happen. Contact [email protected] if you can help with making these ideas happen.

What's been done so far?

March 2023 - wood experts on site!
If you were at the beach at early morning low tide on 21-24 March 2023 you might have seen a small group of people in hi-viz vests loitering around the wooden wrecks - wielding hand saws and chainsaws! There was no need to be alarmed, they were the internationally renown dendrochronologists Nigel Nayling and Rod Bale who came to carefully collect wood samples from some of the wrecks. (Be assured we obtained all the relevant permits to do this work!) These samples are being scientifically tested to find out the age and origin of the timber.

Carefully sampling timbers for scientific testing

Once we're armed with that new information about the timber from the wrecks, the next step will be to work out where and when the vessels were made and possibly why they ended up on Sandwich Flats.

We were lucky to have these experts give a public talk and a beach walk so that everyone had the opportunity to learn about the wrecks and how they are being investigated. 

Public talk at Bird Observatory 22 March and Public Beach Walk 25 March 2023 

Fish and Ships in 2020
In 2020 we were at Sandwich Flats to keep recording the amazing amount of archaeological sites along this beach. We teamed up with CITiZAN East Kent Coast Discovery Programme to run training and fieldwork opportunities for people of all interests and abilities.

CITiZAN and NAS working together on the beach - at dawn!

2019 Discoveries

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.

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