Media Release 1

On stranger tides…

Have you ever wondered why Christchurch in Dorset has a wonky tide curve? Is it because of the Rivers Stour and Avon emptying into the harbour, or is it because of the Isle of Wight? Katalytik is delighted to introduce Time & Tide, a project-led story and performance piece about Christchurch’s double high tide and the role it plays within the area.

A community science project, Time & Tide is funded by Department for Business Innovation and Skills. Up to March 2015, local business Katalytik will be working with Christchurch Activities for Young People (CAYP) and scientists from the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre Southampton to engage young people in the exploration of the tidal system as well as the science and history of the harbour environment around Christchurch. The results will be showcased on social media and culminate in a public activity day and storytelling performance - in Christchurch at the end of March, 2015.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is pleased to support this project which takes science into a community setting. A spokesperson said: “It is our hope as a result of being engaged with this project that local people will feel better informed about science issues affecting them and be inspired to be involved further in the future.”

“We’re delighted to announce Martin Maudsley as the project storyteller. Martin helped develop ‘The Gathering of the Winds’ for the 2012 Olympic Sailing venue” says Jan Peters, project lead. “Our aim is to explore and share another reason why Christchurch is special through the creation of a narrative of the tides interweaving science, history and folklore.”

Jae Harris, of CAYP, said: I’m thrilled to be able to offer a new Saturday Club – Project TnT - for young people as part of this project. The Project TnT will explore the harbour environment, the life in and around the harbour and explore monsters of the mud and deep sea. The Club will run in Somerford from January through to the end of March, from 10-12:00 and will bring young people into contact with a range of different companies and scientists interested in our harbour and its local environment,” Young people age 10-12 are welcome. Contact CAYP.

Time & Tide project leader and Katalytik MD, Jan Peters says. “Living in Christchurch for over 20 years, I’m excited to connect local people with our amazing local resources and share my excitement about what makes our harbour so special”. She adds, “I can still recall as an oceanography student finding out about strange tides and was thrilled when I came to live here and saw the benefit of the weird tide curve that keeps the harbour full for longer than it would be, enabling us to windsurf and sail in such safe conditions for most of a day."

Professor Duncan Purdie from the University of Southampton  who is leading a current NERC funded  research project investigating the impact that plant nutrients from the  rivers Avon and Stour  have on the water quality of the Christchurch Harbour estuary  says “through this Tide and Time project we are keen to introduce the local community to the research that is  currently being undertaken to understand how changes in the tide influence the movement and impact of plant nutrients from the two rivers through  Christchurch Harbour and into the adjacent coastal waters of the English Channel. ”    

Follow us on Facebook or visit the Time & Tide website: for real time monitoring of the nutrient sin the Harbour and Rivers Avon and River Stour

Further information

For more information, interviews & images, please contact: Jan Peters or call 0797 4011278
  • To sign up for the Saturday TnT project contact Jae Harris at CAYP on 07785935928
  • In summary the following elements of the project will be taking place:
  • A steering group of year 11 students are doing Silver Crest awards - 30 hour research projects for their silver Duke of Edinburgh skill and also volunteering at the Project TnT
  • Project TnT will run from January through to March for 20 young people and at half term on 18 February
  • A community day – Science Fair in the Square - is planned in Saxon Square for 21 March
  • Two adult targeted seminars will take place: on  3 Feb and a further event to be confirmed in March.
  • An evening performance of the Story with musical accompaniment is also being planned

About Katalytik

Katalytik is a small consultancy based in Christchurch, established in 2004, developing and delivering projects across science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). We work with educational organisations and employers to attract, retain and advance enthusiasm and passion in science and technology. We specialise in inclusion.

Katalytik is also part of the delivery team for STEM Wilts and Dorset, with Catalyst, offering strategic planning advice to schools around science, technology and maths and matching volunteers from industry with schools to support the curriculum, clubs and competitions that aim to inspire pupils about STEM subjects for more information visit

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