Public asked to take part in global initiative by taking snaps of Welsh coastline
Wales Coast Path (WCP) is asking visitors and residents of Wales to take snaps on their smartphones to help tackle coastal erosion.
May marks National Walking Month and ‘CoastSnap’ will arrive in Wales for the first time this week in partnership with the Wales Coastal Monitoring Centre (WCMC).
The global citizen science initiative will encourage the public to take part by snapping smartphone photos at 19 designated photography points along the Wales Coast Path – from Whitmore Bay in Barry and Llandudno Promenade in north Wales to Tenby Harbour in Pembrokeshire.
The programme’s launch is part of Wales Coast Path’s 2023 campaign, ‘Find Yours’ — which will encourage people to get out and find their slice of well-being and adventure somewhere along the 870 miles of coastline in Wales.
A QR code can be found on the phone cradles at each location, enabling walkers to submit their images to WCMC to allow them to build up a picture of the impact of climate change on Wales’ coastline.
In 3 months, images submitted at each location will be collated to form a timelapse video — displaying the coastal changes over time. This data will then be used to inform the management of the Welsh coast for future generations.
Gwyn Nelson, Programme Manager at Wales Coastal Monitoring Centre, said: “The CoastSnap project will undoubtedly have a long-lasting impact across Wales, contributing towards global efforts to better understand — and offset — coastal erosion.
“Our coastlines can only be protected if we have detailed knowledge of the changes taking place — even if these changes are incremental. And often, the best way to understand the extent of coastal erosion is through close monitoring and regular image capture.
“We know so many people living in and visiting Wales are deeply passionate about protecting the environment — so we look forward to seeing the people of Wales and beyond engaging with the Wales Coast Path in this meaningful way.”
Clare Pillman, CEO of Natural Resources Wales, said: “So many of us love to take photos which capture special moments while out and about on the Path. By sharing them via CoastSnap — as well as the likes of Instagram or Facebook — walkers will be able to update their friends and contribute to essential coastal erosion research at the same time.
“Wales’ coastline is a precious landscape along which walkers of all ages and backgrounds can find reflection, escapism, discovery and adventure. We therefore hope that members of the Welsh public will take up this unique opportunity to support and protect our shared environment — for the benefit of current and future generations.
“And what better time to launch such a project than during Wales Outdoor Learning Week — seven days dedicated to showcasing how we can all benefit from learning in, learning about and learning for our natural environment?”
The initiative comes following the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Changing Coasts project — launched in 2016 to record changes to the Pembrokeshire coastline, including dune and cliff erosion, flooding and changes in sand levels.
CoastSnap is an international movement, encouraging the public to get involved in marine environment research.
It was founded in 2017 by the University of New South Wales and New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment in Sydney, Australia, and is now live across 13 countries.
Wales’ CoastSnap photography points can be found in the following locations:
- Lamby Way, Cardiff
- Pendine, Carmarthenshire – installation pending
- Criccieth Castle View, Gwynedd
- Criccieth West Beach, Gwynedd
- Porthcawl, Bridgend – installation pending
- Aberaeron seafront, Ceredigion – installation pending
- Llandudno Promenade, Conwy
- Rhyl Promenade, Denbighshire
- Talacre, Flintshire
- Beaumaris, Anglesey
- Black Rock Picnic Site, Monmouthshire – installation pending
- Port Talbot, Neath Port Talbot – installation pending
- Goldcliff Seawall, Newport
- Tenby Bandstand, Pembrokeshire
- Tenby North Beach steps, Pembrokeshire
- Langland Bay, Swansea – installation pending
- Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan
- Whitmore Bay East, Barry
- Whitmore Bay West, Barry
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