Supporting volunteers to protect underwater cultural heritage

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The London and its volunteer team

Steve and Carol Ellis and Steve Meddle are a small but enthusiastic team of volunteer licensees...

SWMAG and the Moor Sand and Salcombe Cannon sites

The South West Maritime Archaeology Group (SWMAG), both present and past, is built up of a group...

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The UK ‘s foreshore and coastal waters contain one of the greatest density of shipwrecks in the world, with estimates of up to 250,000 vessels lost throughout history. Of these, only some 60,000 are formally recorded and only 20,000 are of identified sites; the vast majority are unidentified and their location unknown.

A very small number of the UK’s wrecks are afforded legal protection under different pieces of UK and Devolved Nation heritage legislation and many of these are actively worked, researched and championed by teams of avocational and professional archaeologists who hold specific licences / permits issued by the heritage agencies or the Ministry of Defence who authorise the activities allowed (from “look-don’t touch” to excavation) on behalf of the government.

The Protected Wreck Association act as a forum to facilitate open communication, discussion, collaboration and co-operation within the community of avocational and professional archaeologists who strive to survey, monitor, excavate or research inland, foreshore and underwater cultural heritage sites around the UK coastline which are protected under cultural heritage legislation or its equivalents in the devolved administrations of the UK.

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Protected Wreck Sites

Find out more about all the sites protected by law around the coast of England.

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