New coastal monitoring point for Sidmouth

New coastal monitoring point for Sidmouth Picture: Plymouth Coastal Observatory

New coastal monitoring point for Sidmouth Picture: Plymouth Coastal Observatory - Credit: Picture: Plymouth Coastal Observatory

Sidmouth residents and visitors are being encouraged to become a community scientist... simply by taking a photo!

Plymouth Coastal Observatory has launched a new project which will catalogue a variety of beach images which will help experts better understand the dynamic nature of the East Devon coastline, including cliff erosion.

Sidmouth is the latest town where a monitoring point has been set up and everyone is being encouraged to use it.

It consists of a simple camera mount in which a smartphone sits so that multiple images can be taken of the exact same spot.

Coastal Process Scientist, Joseff Saunders, said: “The next time you are visiting Pennington Point in Sidmouth, be sure to look out for our camera mount and sign.

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“By placing your smartphone in the camera mount, taking a photo and sharing it with us via our website or email you can help document a valuable insight to a changing coastal environment.

“With enough photos taken across varying tidal stages, we can link beach erosion and accretion events to weather conditions, seasonal fluctuations and extreme storm events.

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“These images will help communities, organisations and local authorities to determine management practices for our valuable beach environments.”

Photographs can either be submitted by email or the Plymouth Coastal Observatory website.

Joseff added: “It’s extremely important to also submit the time and date your photo was captured so that we can accommodate the tidal cycle into our analysis.”

The South West Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme is the largest of the National Coastal Monitoring Programme regions, encompassing 2,019km of coast between Portland Bill in Dorset and Beachley Point on the border with Wales.

The programme is run by the Plymouth Coastal Observatory’s team of Coastal Process Scientists who manage the data collected to ensure it meets very specific, high standards.

The programme collects different types of coastal monitoring data, including aerial photography and habitat mapping.

This feeds into a long-term dataset showing changes to the beaches and coastline of the South West.

With the right information, beach managers can plan for the future and ensure that any beach or coastal defence schemes are designed based on reliable information.

For more information, go to

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