Carcinus alongside MSDS Marine recently undertook a two-day public participation intertidal survey on the Sandwich Flats, Kent. The survey focused on four wreck sites and their surrounding environments within the bay. The study aimed to investigate the relationship between the social and economic value of the wrecks and their archaeological heritage and ecological importance.
The survey formed part of Historic England’s ongoing method development project to integrate cultural heritage with the ecosystems services approach. Developing an understanding of the relationships between the perceived function of the wrecks from a cultural heritage and ecosystem perspective is a key aim of the project.
Ecologists from Carcinus and archaeologists from MSDS Marine undertook the intertidal survey with the help of volunteers from the public. Public participation was key to assessing the cultural value placed on the heritage of the wrecks and the surrounding area. The survey attracted volunteers from the public with a diverse background and representatives from the Kent & Essex IFCA, Kent Wildlife Trust, BBC and the Nautical Archaeological Society.
Ecological sampling comprised an assessment of the fish assemblage present within the intertidal zone, the benthic infauna of soft sediments and epibenthic communities present on the wreck structures. Volunteers participated in surveys and had the opportunity to try seine and cast netting, quadrat analysis, hand coring and habitat mapping to learn about the ecological sampling techniques involved. There was also the opportunity to participate in the archaeological surveys comprising an offset survey, 3D modelling using photogrammetry and a detailed recording of each wreck.
During a very enjoyable two days, we developed an enhanced understating of how people value the wrecks and their surroundings. This has been invaluable to establishing the ecosystems services performed by the site. Ultimately this could not have been achieved without the fantastic support and willing participation of all the volunteers that turned out over the two days.
'We wish to thank all the volunteers for their invaluable support during the survey and for making the two days a very enjoyable experience for all involved.'
More Information on Intertidal Surveys
Find out more about our services on our 'Marine Ecology Surveys' page or download our 'Marine Benthic Ecology' and 'Marine Fisheries' capability statements below: