All About the NCC…..

All about the NCC…

Exploring and journeying through the impact zone between the levels of high and low, often including total immersion in seawater

Eatock and Spink

Circa 1986, Andy Middleton from TYF ‘invented’ commercial coasteering activities, and since then there are around 150 companies across the UK that have started to offer Coasteering as a guided activity allowing groups to experience the inter-tidal area of the coastline in a new and exciting manner.

Throughout the UK there are now companies offering a variety of Coasteering experiences from the Isle of Man to Cornwall and Pembrokeshire to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Ireland and the Channel Isles.

With the growth in popularity and many companies expressing a view that Coasteering is the most popular activity they run it is now represented by an advisory organisation, the National Coasteering Charter.

How do I know that it is safe?

The National Coasteering Charter (NCC) is recognised by:

AALA logoMCA logornliROSPA

It has been voted in by Coasteering Providers across the UK to represent them as a group with the aims of:

  • Setting minimum operating standards to work to
  • Setting minimum training standards to train Coasteering Guides to
  • Upholding environmentally sustainable methods of Coasteering
  • Be a voice to represent coasteering providers nationally to other bodies
  • We provide opportunity for providers to share information to improve practice
  • To share incidents, accidents and near misses to continuously improve coasteering safety

All of the above are continuously developed over time.

How does the NCC work?

The Charter has a  constitution. In brief, coasteering providers pay a sum of £50 per year to sign up to it to show that they are working at the levels set by the charter.  This money supports the continuous development of the documents and also gives funds that support the sharing and learning of good practice.

Each member that has signed up to it meets regionally twice a year.  Two representatives are voted in to represent their region at the National meeting that his held once a year.

The current Committee and Reps are: [wpdm_file id=29]

Why is the NCC not a NGB?

Currently there are two trains of thought:

  1. The outdoor industry has enough NGB’s – when the NCC was voted in in November 2011, it was decided that we could manage ourselves by self-representation, as long as we had a structured communication system set in place
  2. To be an NGB you need many members to pay into the pot to make it sustainable.  Currently there are only about 150 or so providers of Coasteering in the UK.  This would not cover the costs of the necessary administration etc. that an NGB incurs.  The way that organisations such as the BCU and RYA are sustainable is that they also have individual members who are keen sailors and paddlesports enthusiasts.  Coasteering is still in its relative infancy, and as it is perceived as a high risk activity, not many people go out by themselves to coaster without a trained guide.  However, this is changing…
How do I get into coasteering?

Most people have their first exciting experience of coasteering as part of a programme of activities with an adventurous activity provider. This is the best way to learn the basic skills needed to have a go safely, paying particular attention to the environment, safety issues under the expert advice and guidance of a local guide. If you’re looking for a provider please use the link to the provider map on the right.

Environment / Access

Most coasteering activities take place in the area known as the intertidal zone along littoral coastline. This is the area that is found above water at low tide and that which is underwater at high tide, and is most often done on the ‘cliffy’ part of the coast. The area contains a vast array of animal and plant life such as seaweeds, star fish, sponges, crabs and barnacles to name but a few.

The activity area may also include small sea cliffs, ledges, caves, rocky areas and pathways leading to almost inaccessible areas of beautiful coastline that can only be accessed from the water. Access to some areas of our coastline is not a given right so if you are looking to coasteer is would be worth finding out from local providers the access situation for a particular area.