Ethny Childs
11 June 2020

Year of the English Coast 2021

Do you work in marine and coastal science? Would you like to share your passion for the coast with the public? 

The entire English coastline is about to become accessible for the first time, through the designation of the longest waymarked walking route in the world - the English Coast Path National Trail. To celebrate this, 2021 is being marked as the Year of the English Coast. Throughout 2021, a wide range of events will be held in coastal communities to celebrate the opening of the Trail and to showcase the English Coastline. 

To celebrate the Year of the English Coast, the Plover Rovers - Talking the Coast initiative aims to bring together the professional marine community and communities along the English Coast by having a host of marine scientists and professionals walk stretches of the English Coast Path during the walking season of 2021 (~April to October) and give talks in the villages, towns and cities they pass through. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to have the entirety of the English Coast Path walked by marine professionals and scientists, with talks delivered in more than 180 locations. This will be achieved by assigning interested individuals to the stretches they want to walk and mapping their walks on an interactive map.

Aside from giving talks, participants can also blog about their walks and share pictures and impressions, helping to introduce the English Coast to the digital public and highlight local issues on a national scale. By offering intimate talks where marine scientists and professionals can engage directly with local communities, the Plover Rovers initiative hopes to facilitate discussion between scientists/professionals and the public, fostering a feeling of mutual benefit, increasing ocean literacy and helping to empower coastal communities.

A wide range of marine and coastal topics can be the focus of the talks, provided they are associated with the English Coast and are informed by sound up-to-date science. Talks can be given in situ on the English Coast Path or in localities like libraries, community centres and schools. Talks can be tailored for different audiences and ages, but should be as interactive and engaging as possible. You can read more about the criteria for talks here. 
The Plover Rovers also have a number of volunteer positions available if you would like to get involved in a different way. These include positions in communication and public engagement, as well as for youth ambassadors. 
Take a look at the Plover Rovers website for more information and if you would like to get involved in the Talking the Coast initiative please fill out this form.