CoastSnap Southwest - Beach Monitoring 

Become a citizen scientist today by simply taking a photo!

A catalogue of your beach images can help us better understand the dynamic nature of our coastline. 


The next time you are visiting one of our photo points around the Southwest coastline, be sure to look out for our camera mount and sign. By placing your smartphone in the camera mount, taking a photo and sharing it with us via our website or email you can help document a valuable insight to a changing coastal environment.

With enough photos taken across varying tidal stages, we can link beach erosion/accretion events to weather conditions, seasonal fluctuations and extreme storm events.

Your images will help communities, organisations and local authorities to determine management practices for our valuable beach environments.

How to Get Involved

When you are passing by one of our sites, look out for the camera mount and join in with the coastal monitoring programme:

  • Place your smartphone on its side in the mount so that the camera is facing the beach through the gap. *This is very important, if you don't use the camera cradle we can't use your photo*
  • Take your photo, without using zoom, square or panoramic.
  • Carefully remove your phone.
  • Share your photo with us either by:

Important - If you don't send the photo immediately, be sure to note down the time and date the photo was captured. All photo authors will remain anonymous.

Too much information? Not to worry, we've included all the instructions on how to capture your image and share it on the accompanying sign:

Where to find a CoastSnap Station

We are currently in the process of rolling out new sites around the Southwest. Use the map below to find your nearest site.

Wembury, South Devon

Find the structure to the West of the beach entrance.


Dawlish Warren, South Devon

Find the structure near the lifeguard hut by the beach entrance.


 East Beach, West Bay

Find the structure on the coast path up to the cliff.

 Westward Ho!, North Devon

Find the structure on the sea wall, next to the beach entrance.

 West Beach, West Bay

Find the structure at the entrance to the harbour arm.

CoastSnap Origins

The original design and idea of this project is fully attributable to the CoastSnap team, who have now set up four sites in New South Wales, Australia.

Using fixed point photography by means of a camera mount, the team are able to visually identify the change in the shoreline position through analysing a catalog of images collected over varying tidal stages from the exact same position. It is therefore extremely important to also submit the time and date your photo was captured so that we can accommodate the tidal cycle into our analysis.

Since its initial development, CoastSnap has been initiated in nine different countries, including France, USA, Spain and England. For more information on their progress, why not visit their website or Facebook page.


GDPR Compliance

Photographs where people are uniquely identifiable could be considered personal data. As such they are not allowed to be shared without consent. To avoid this issue, photos will be checked by staff at PCO. If photos where people are uniquely identifiable are submitted, the photo will not be uploaded and will be deleted from our records.