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Coast Care is an initiative created to train, support and resource volunteers to contribute to the management and conservation of the Northumberland coastline from Berwick to Amble.

The region is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and incorporates many Special Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSI). Volunteers will care for our sandy beaches, rolling dunes, historic buildings, village greens and other community spaces which make up our coastal environment.

There are a range of volunteer roles including performing wildlife surveys, practical conservation tasks and local site wardens. We have projects to suit a wide range of interests and capabilities.

Coast Care is a dynamic partnership delivered by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Seahouses Development Trust. The project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund until October 2020.

The Team

These are the people who help keep this great project afloat.

Becky Bass

Becky Bass

Project Manager

Hi, I’m Becky Bass, Project Manager for Coast Care and I started in this role at the beginning of October 2018. 

I moved to north Northumberland a couple of years ago following the opportunity to relocate. This stretch of coastline has always been on the top of my favourite holiday destinations so being able to live and work in this area feels like a dream come true.

As Project Manager I will be responsible for ensuring that the team are achieving what Coast Care set out to do. I will also be looking at future opportunities and ways to develop and deliver the project. I will be mainly office based but hope to get out with the team when possible to get my hands dirty and brush up on my own conservation skills!

I’m looking forward to being part of this fantastic initiative and making a real difference to an area I feel so passionate about. Coast Care is particularly appealing as it requires a strong volunteer network to exist in order to succeed, which I believe will demonstrate a fantastic sense of people power and I can’t wait to see the results of how this impacts upon the project area. 

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond

Project Assistant (Training and Conservation)

I am really excited to be starting at Coast Care - my first job in conservation! I can’t wait to work alongside the volunteers and get stuck into some practical conservation work.

Originally I am from North Northumberland, growing up in Berwick-upon-Tweed. I spent many of my summers enjoying the coastline, whether it was fishing off the pier with friends, swimming or just enjoying the beach. I moved away for 4 years in order to study. I graduated from university last year, where I studied Animal Conservation Science. I was fortunate enough to be based in the Lake District National Park where I could absorb the outdoors, going on hikes and exploring all that the lakes has to offer. Spending my time in such an idyllic location was incredible, but I did miss the coast.

I spent an amazing year volunteering with the National Trust at Strangford Lough and Ards peninsular in Northern Ireland, just outside Belfast - a pretty incredible location! During my time there I had the chance to learn how practical conservation works. I developed a skill set which will help me in my conservation career, and also had some great adventures which have left me with some good stories to tell.

In my free time I love to be outside. This includes photography, watching wildlife and going out on hikes for the day. I am so happy that I managed to find a job which involves my passions and my hobbies.

Obviously I am biased, but Northumberland is by far one of the best places in the UK and I am lucky to be involved in this exciting conservation project. I can’t wait to get involved in conservation in my local area and meet all the volunteers!

Emma Witcutt

Emma Witcutt

Project Assistant (Volunteer Engagement and Communication)

I’m Em Witcutt, Coast Care Project Assistant (Volunteer Engagement and Communication) and I started the role in August 2019.

I’m originally from Walsall in the West Midlands but have always loved the North-east for its rugged landscape, stunning coastline and lovely people. I love the outdoors, and grew up walking, climbing and watching wildlife with my family. I moved up to Newcastle for university and spent three months studying Arctic Terns (my favourite bird!) on the Farne Islands for my dissertation, before returning to the islands as a Ranger the following year. Since leaving Northumberland I’ve been lucky enough to work on seabird conservation projects in amazing places from the Irish and East Anglian coastlines to Gough Island in the South Atlantic. Here’s a link to a short video of my time on Gough if you're interested – the real life Jurassic Park!

 I've loved my travels, but I’ve always wanted to come back and make Northumberland my home so I’m excited to be up here and working with Coast Care in a role where I can help the local community to protect such a special coastline. It’ll be my job to spread the word about the project and the fantastic work our volunteers have been doing, as well as to recruit new volunteers to join the team. 

Jane Smith

Jane Smith

Young Rangers Youth Worker

Since I was young the outdoors has always been a keen interest of mine, especially the coast. While at college I achieved my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award which opened my eyes to a number of new adventures. I gained great satisfaction from trekking in the Atlas mountains in Morocco and this spurred me to become an outdoor instructor. In this position I spent days climbing the Cheviot Hills, kayaking across rivers, rock climbing through the Northumbrian crags and of course enjoying our beautiful coastline. I had the opportunity to work with a variety of young people- some of which had never even seen the sea before! 

I have been involved in the Seahouses Youth Project since 2005, working with drop in sessions and with the youth club. I am looking forward to the Young Rangers project and the many adventures that lie ahead! 

Andy P

All too often, young people in the 13 – 19 age bracket receive a negative press, so it is wonderful for this project to give young people a chance to make a difference.

Jane Smith
Young Rangers Youth Worker

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is exactly what it says it is: an outstanding landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so precious that it is in the nation's interest to safeguard them.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a statutory designation established by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Together with National Parks, AONBs represent the nation's finest landscapes. The primary purpose of the AONB designation is to conserve and enhance natural beauty.

The Northumberland Coast was designated as an AONB in 1958, covering an area of 138 sq km along 64km of the coastline between Berwick-upon-Tweed and the Coquet Estuary.

Northumberland County Council has a statutory duty to ensure that the natural beauty of the Northumberland coast is conserved and enhanced and to prepare a management plan setting how the council's policies for the management of the AONB.

The Partnership

To assist the council in the conservation and enhancement of the Northumberland Coast AONB, the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership was formed in 2003. Comprising of local people, representatives of statutory agencies and interest groups, the Partnership guides the policies of the council and the work of the staff team.

The role of the Partnership is to pursue and champion the purposes of designation of the Northumberland Coast AONB and to assist in the delivery of the partners' statutory duties and other management aspirations in respect of the AONB.

Our Partners

With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we are working together with Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Seahouses Development Trust and Northumberland Coast AONB to look after our coastal environment.

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​What does 23 sessions, 15 months, 8 volunteers, 2 members of staff and 1 very determined lead volunteer get you?

​What does 23 sessions, 15 months, 8 volunteers, 2 members of staff and 1 very determined lead volunteer get you?

2nd February 2021

One transformed traditionally built dry stone wall leading into one of Northumberland’s quaintest ...

Connecting Virtually at Coast Care

Connecting Virtually at Coast Care

9th December 2020

Coast Care volunteers have been making the most of modern technology to socialise safely during thes...

"I met some wonderful people and really felt that my work helped make a difference to my local area."

Why Volunteer →