Shorewatch  The Shorewatch Project aims to encourage and assist members of local communities to locate, record and monitor archaeological sites around Scotland’s coast. Dun Vulan, February 2005There are hundreds, if not thousands, of sites that are known about locally, but which remain unreported. Many of these sites are threatened by erosion and may soon be destroyed. Local groups are in an ideal position to examine such places, as they are able to draw upon local knowledge and are on-hand to note damage or changes that occur after storms or extreme high tides. Historic Scotland and the Council for Scottish Archaeology started the first pilot project in 1997. Since 2001, The SCAPE Trust has jointly managed Shorewatch with the University of St Andrews. In 2002, they were awarded a three-year Heritage Lottery Fund grant, which, together with money from Historic Scotland, has funded a Shorewatch co-ordinator. Access Archaeology, North Uist May 2005This has helped to expand the scheme, and now there are groups all around the Scottish coast. The Shorewatch co-ordinator has visited the groups to help familiarise participants with recording techniques and to pass on tips on recognising sites. Essential pieces of equipment have been provided to groups and the co-ordinator has helped them to record sites in as little or as much detail as they wish. Specially designed forms are used to make basic records of sites. The forms prompt the recorders to note down all relevant information, helping to identify and describe the sites and allowing them to be re-located in the future. Looking at storm damage at Baile Sear, North Uist, May 2005Some groups have gone a stage further and have started their own detailed recording projects, such as drawing plans of their sites or undertaking surveys. Some groups have even started up small excavations, executed in collaboration with professional archaeologists. In 2004, The SCAPE Trust was awarded the Silver Trowel at the British Archaeological Awards. Sponsored by Spear and Jackson (manufacturers of the WHS trowel, ‘the’ trowel for any self-respecting archaeologist), the Silver Trowel is regarded as the top award in these, the archaeological equivalent of the Oscars. See the Shorewatch website for more information about the project and how you can get involved.