Posted by Eccleston George Team on April 30, 2014 at 1:40 PM
Shelving the Coast is almost a year old, the first
was installed on the seawall at Bouldner on the Isle of
Wight on the 7th
May 2013. Four more Vertipools followed in September
2013. All five
of the handmade concrete pools then faced one of the
on record in the UK, storm after storm battered the coastline of the
UK week after week month after month. We feared our
would fall victim to the terrible battering of gale
force winds and
extreme high tides but to our amazement all five
stood firm and
survived where so many other coastal structures,
succumbed to the onslaught.
Vertipools work. With all five of our vertipools populated with
seashore wildlife we have discovered that the answer to our original question ' is it possible to make a vertical intertidal zone?' is simply
yes! This means we can do two things, we can make habitat where
there is none i.e. on harbour walls etc, and if coastal squeeze caused by sea level rise threatens intertidal habitat where a seawall is present, then we think we can do something about that too.
What's interesting about this project is that it took an artist and an
ecologist working together to first pose the question and then use
their combined creativity, knowledge and artistic skills to create a
solution. With a lot of good will from the artist and ecologist and
thanks to Artists Project Earth and Isle of Wight AONB, 18 months
ago just enough funds where scraped together to allow the research, design, prototyping and field testing phases to take place from then until now.
So now we know how to shelve the coast, we know how to make
Vertipool sculptures capable of sustaining intertidal life and we know how to retro fit them to existing sea defenses. The next step is to make more Vertipools so that we can continue the testing and
research, we need to make new moulds from new materials, we need to experiment with more Vertipool designs and we need to get more Vertipools out in more places.
We have come a long way and now we need support to continue the Shelving the Coast project.
If you're interested in getting involved please contact Nigel George