Back in 2001 Niki Holmes was part of a SciArt award winning team developing proposals for an Artificial Rockpool as part of coastal revertment designed not only to protect foreshore from erosion, but also configured to promote the reinstatement or creation of habitats that would lead to more rapid return of and increased diversity in rocky shore marine species on and near the installation.
The project team were successful in attracting the support of Hartlepool Borough council to the development on a prototype structure on the foreshore at Hartlepool Headland on the site of an old Lido.
The proposals went through public consultation. Initial concerns expressed by English Nature were assuaged, by the evidence the team where able to offer in support of the concept from small test installations off the coast of Scotland as a result the project received support for a small initial installation of 10m2, to be followed by a larger installation following full proof of concept.
Sadly, changes in National Environmental Research Council and the Councils funding priorities lead to the proposal being shelved.
However, the projects principles are being explored once more as part of a proposed larger revertment scheme for Hartlepool Headland and Harbour, being designed by Mott MacDonald and currently assessed in consultation by public auxiliary bodies including English Nature.