Solway Coastwise – a Year of Coasts and Waters Case Study

Submitted by Solway Firth Partnership

Solway Firth Partnership (SFP) is a multi-disciplinary independent charity that works with partners to support a vibrant and sustainable local economy while respecting, protecting and celebrating the distinctive character, heritage and natural features of our marine and coastal area. Community engagement is at the heart of SFP activities and we involve agencies, authorities, businesses, interest groups and individuals on both sides of the Solway Firth on a wide variety of projects.

Solway Coastwise was a three-year project, managed by SFP and co-ordinated by Landscape Architect Nic Coombey, which used place names of features on 200 miles of coastline as a catalyst to encourage people to recognise the landscape of SW Scotland as an asset. The project encouraged the discovery of traditional place names, providing an insight into their meaning, history and identity. A hugely popular series of guides were produced: A BEACH GUIDE for Scotland’s Southern Coast; a WILDLIFE GUIDE, the CAVES AND GRAVES GUIDE; a TIDE ISLANDS & SHIFTING SANDS GUIDE; and WORDS & PLACES, a coastal gazetteer.

The greatest achievement has been to enthuse so many people about the coastline as a landscape asset through different activities and media types. The moving image has been a particular success in promoting place names on the amazing Dumfries and Galloway coastline. From the unexpected involvement of ITV Border Life programmes to the excellent short films used as a place name resource using the abilities of Urban Croft, and finally, the much-admired “mini docs” providing evidence of and promoting the Coastwise activities made by Stewart Tait at Studio 105. All of these can be viewed on the Solway Firth partnership You Tube channel.

Photographs: Ambassador visits to Balcary Bay with archaeologists from SCAPE.

View all Year of Coasts and Waters case studies here

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