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Diver underwater as part of SAMPHIRE project work

Crowd-sourced heritage project wins top European award

A marine heritage project that used crowdsourcing methods to gather information and map archaeological sites along the west coast of Scotland, has won a prestigious European Union Prize.

Maritime archaeologists met with harbour masters, scallop divers, recreational divers, fishermen and other local residents in the towns and villages of the west coast to record and map previously unknown sites on the coast and seabed.

The project has resulted in dozens of shipwreck discoveries as well as recording of flying boats, stone anchors and coastal wreck sites from Cape Wrath to the Solway Firth .Highlights included

·        the recording of a group of previously unreported WWII flying boats in the Firth of Lorn

·        the discovery of over a dozen unidentified 18th, 19th and 20th century wrecks

The project has also gathered a wealth of descriptive information including photographs, videos and sketches of wreck sites.

The three-year project, called SAMPHIRE received more than £100,000 of funding from The Crown Estate .  It was devised and run by leading heritage and archaeology practice Wessex Archaeology.

Andy Wells, Head of Property at Crown Estate Scotland, said, “The key to the project has been the skills and knowledge of all the local communities and they should all take pride in their contribution towards the project winning this prestigious award.”

Full details of the project are at

For data see


Crown Estate Scotland is a public corporation which manages the assets on an interim basis until new legislation sets out permanent arrangements. The Scotland Act 2016 devolved the management and revenues of the Crown Estate in Scotland to Scottish Ministers with effect from April 1st 2017.