The Maritime Archaeology Trust promotes interest, research and knowledge of maritime archaeology and heritage throughout Great Britain. It runs a programme of research and fieldwork that investigates underwater sites such as shipwrecks, submerged prehistoric landscapes, hulks and maritime structures present on the intertidal and foreshore area. Results of this work feed into the Trust’s award-winning education and outreach dissemination programme and is delivered by means of the Maritime Discovery Bus which is a mobile education and outreach facility with disabled access enabling the Trust to visit people and communities in areas across the region. 

The Maritime Archaeology Trust was awarded £9,875 from the Charles Burnett memorial Fund in 2022 to enable digital recording of recently discovered artefacts on the shores of the Solent and the exhibition of the results at venues and events in the New Forest and on the Isle of Wight via the Discovery Bus. 3D models, videos and posters were created for the mobile interactive exhibition to make people aware of their rich local heritage and the threats to the coastline and impact of climate change.  

The Charles Burnett Memorial Fund was established by the family of the late Charles Burnett, a resident of Lymington, to assist charitable projects and resources across the area where he lived. In his lifetime, Charles supported many worthwhile causes and this new £1 million fund will continue his great charitable legacy, meeting the needs of future generations in our communities and providing a lasting memorial in Charles’s name.

Jan Gillespie, Project Officer for The Maritime Archaeology Trust said: “Staff and volunteers have been able to take this exhibition aboard the Maritime Discovery Bus to schools and various venues in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to disseminate the information in an innovative way to the community. These maritime aspects of our cultural heritage are very significant and have a great deal to tell us about our relationship with the past, giving inhabitants a deep sense of belonging. 

“Seeing the enjoyment of the adults and children interacting with the display aboard the Discovery Bus – people who might never have had access to this information – makes us very grateful for the generosity of HIWCF donors have helped to make this possible.”