Health and Safety

CITiZAN wants you to be safe while out on the foreshore, so please follow the guidelines below.

Never put yourself or others at risk when recording and monitoring for CITiZAN. If you are unsure or feel that the situation is unsafe for any reason do not continue.

  • Always work with one other person, as a minimum.
  • Check the tides and the weather when planning your trip. Be aware that weather conditions such as recent storms and strong winds can affect the tides. If in doubt about your timing or tidal conditions contact the local coastguard and have them approve your plans. A seven day forecast of tides and weather is available via the BBC website.
  • On sunny days apply sunblock and wear a hat. In chalk cliff areas particularly the effect of the sun is intensified by reflection from the cliffs. 
  • Wear appropriate clothing and supportive footwear with good grips
  • Tell a contact on shore what time you are going and what time you expect to be back. Arrange with them to contact the coastguard if they haven’t heard from you by that time.
  • Take a fully charged mobile phone with you and in an emergency contact the Coastguard by dialling 999. Remember, however, that many coastal or remote areas may not have a signal. In this case it is worth trying to send a text to your shore contact as these sometimes work if they catch a momentary signal. 
  • Identify your nearest landmark in case you have to make an emergency call.
  • Don’t walk close to the cliff base if the area is prone to rock falls. Do not explore caves in cliffs in these areas and never climb up or down unstable cliffs.  
  • Do not go into, or get close to, unstable structures or buildings.
  • Never go out onto mud flats or salt marshes unless you are sure it is safe to do so.
  • Take particular care on slippery rocks and always look where you are walking, this includes not stepping backwards while trying to frame a photograph
  • If you come across an item that looks like it might be military ordnance do not touch it. If you can do so safely take a photograph, mark the position  retreat to a safe distance and then report it to the Coastguard. 
  • Do not touch any containers or drums that may contain hazardous substances or waste. Report any such item to the Environment Agency incident hotline by dialling 0800 80 70 60.
  • Avoid disturbing wild animals. Take particular care during bird breeding season, roughly May-September. Injured or trapped animals can be reported to the RSPCA by dialling 0300 1234 999.

Things to take with you:

  • Plenty of liquids and enough food to cover unexpected delays
  • A good map (e.g OS Explorer)
  • A whistle
  • A compass
  • An emergency first aid kit
  • Extra warm clothes, sunblock, waterproofs, a hat according to the weather
  • A fully charged mobile phone


Download a PDF copy of the CITiZAN Health and Safety document: