ActiveLearning Project launched to help monitor coastal change along the East Riding Coastline

The University of Hull’s Energy and Environment Institute is delighted to launch the first phase of the ‘ActiveLearning’ Photopost Project, in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and linked to the global CoastSnap programme.

With strong links to the Blue Health agenda, the ActiveLearning Project takes advantage of our blue spaces to improve active recreation, physical activity opportunities and mental wellbeing, through the development of connected and accessible coastal trails.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to explore iconic locations along the East Yorkshire coast, whilst capturing specific views on camera. A series of artistic, wood-turned photoposts lead the way, offering connected trails and wayfinding, with opportunities for citizen scientists to support coastal monitoring of the landscape through our ‘ActiveLearning’ programme. 

Taking inspiration from historic coastal landmarks, these sympathetic ‘active beacon’ photoposts may be explored across a number of locations on the East Yorkshire coast, building links to the future rollout of the England Coast path throughout 2022 and beyond, including trails at:

  • Sewerby to Bempton
  • Hornsea
  • Withernsea
  • Spurn Point

Visitors can set out on a linear route to take in a cluster of posts, map their own circular route, or try and complete them all and cover the East Yorkshire coast. For a full list of routes, visit the Active Learning website.

Also look out for a series of led walks as part of the Active Coast ‘Explore’ offer and within the Walking East Yorkshire Festival in September.

Katie Parsons, lead researcher on the ActiveLearning project at the University of Hull said: “These photopost installations along the East Riding coast combine getting outdoors with learning about our wider coastal environments and monitoring how they are changing over time. The project makes everyone with access to a smart phone a mini-scientist, collecting important data on coastal erosion processes through to the longer-term changes resulting from sea-level rise

"This series of coastal photopost installations forms the first stage of the ActiveLearning project. We are exploring the possibility of establishing further trails along the Humber Estuary, with opportunities for citizen scientists to engage with different kinds of landscapes and ecosystems whilst getting active. So watch this space!” 

Photoposts ‘Active Beacons’

The photoposts have been manufactured and designed by Galvin Brothers of Beverley, with each one holding information plaques and QR codes to direct users to further information on the wider project. Users are encouraged to take photos and upload via the CoastSnap app or via social media using the hashtag name listed on each beacon.

What is CoastSnap?

CoastSnap is an international programme, initially developed by the University of New South Wales (Australia), that is used to gather data on coastlines and to engage the communities through a citizen science approach, allowing individuals to engage with measuring how beaches and coastlines change over time. Visitors are able to take photographs with smart phones which will enable them to capture a valuable and consistent record of the beach/coast state, which can then be uploaded and shared via the CoastSnap App (available for Apple and Android phones) and/or social media channels.

University of Hull’s ‘Active Learning’ Programme

The ‘Active Learning’ programme aims to:

  • Develop a citizen science led beach monitoring initiative that supports and data collection of our changing coastline
  • Build a visual timeline of the changing landscape by observing seasonal changes and gaining a better understanding of coastal erosion, natural habitats and the environment
  • Integrate environmental education opportunities and promote awareness of protecting our coast to local schools, young people and families
  • Build a community database that provides new insights on coastal responses to changing weather and wave conditions and extreme storms.
  • Support research with the ‘Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership’ into how our marine ecosystems link with other elements of our coastline, including heritage, tourism and industry

Find out more via the Active Learning Project website.

Covid Recovery

Supported by Public Health, this project enhances opportunities to explore the wonderful East Yorkshire coast, encouraging residents and visitors to exercise outdoors and improve their health and wellbeing through walking, running and cycling following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for economic development and tourism at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “During the pandemic our beautiful East Riding Coastline became increasingly popular as residents and visitors to the area looked to increase their physical activity levels whilst taking in the breathtaking scenery.

“The ‘Active Beacon’ Photopost Project looks to continue to promote this whilst also using the opportunity to monitor the serious issue of coastal erosion using the wooden art installations. I would encourage visitors to the coastline in the upcoming months to take part in the project and discover the stunning views on offer.”


The project has been supported and funded by a wide range of partners including:

  • Visit East Yorkshire
  • ERYC Health & Wellbeing Team (Active Coast)
  • University of Hull’s Higher Education Innovation Fund
  • Yorkshire Coast Bid
  • The RSPB Bempton Cliffs
  • Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
  • ERYC Public Health
  • Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership
The ActiveLearning project makes everyone with access to a smart phone a mini-scientist, collecting important data on coastal erosion processes through to the longer-term changes resulting from sea-level rise.

Katie Parsons

Lead Researcher on the ActiveLearning project

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