Mesolithic remains, an early Bronze Age cemetery and ancient peat beds are just some of the heritage wonders due to be excavated from the cliffs at Low Hauxley, Northumberland, thanks to a partnership between NWT and Archaeological Research Services Ltd, with a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Read the latest updates from the project here!

Low Hauxley is situated at the northern end of Druridge Bay in Northumberland, directly next to the popular NWT Hauxley nature reserve. This particular stretch of coastline is experiencing erosion due to climate change which has caused sea levels to rise. The sand dunes and cliffs that line the coast are receding which, as a result, has had a negative impact on coastal archaeology in the area. Erosion and sea level change are not only threats to coastal archaeology, but also to the various wildlife that inhabit the coastline.

Rescued from the Sea is a partnership project formed primarily between Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Archaeological Research Services Ltd, with funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and support from Newcastle and Durham Universities and the Great North Museum: Hancock.

The project engaged a small army of volunteers to meticulously uncover, record and preserve the extremely rare and nationally important archaeological finds that were hidden within the cliff face. Interactive classroom sessions and guided tours were provided for school groups and University students, to inspire the local community and help them understand their past heritage and the changing landscape.

Ivor Crowther, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “Rescued from the Sea will give people a fantastic insight into life in Northumberland through the ages. These exceptional finds will be carefully conserved and made accessible for everyone. The volunteers taking part will help shed light on the artefacts and piece together parts of our heritage that no one has seen before. We at the Heritage Lottery Fund are delighted to be a part of this special project and can’t wait to see the results.

As the initial dig period came to a close, evidence uncovered regarding the catastrophic event which helped cut Britain off from the Continent thousands of years ago triggered an “emergency” grant of £70,000 to continue the excavations for another week.

Low Hauxley photos

Visit our Image Gallery for photos of our work/findings at Low Hauxley.

ARS Ltd.

Visit the ARS website for reports on previous discoveries at Low Hauxley.

Project partners