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What is the FROG?

The FROG is the Foreshore Recording & Observation Group. It is made up of over 700 volunteers who have been trained in foreshore recording techniques and foreshore health & safety.

Since 2008, our FROG members have been monitoring, recording and researching the archaeology of the Thames foreshore across London.

FROG members work with our team of archaeologists to:

  • • record the archaeology of the Thames foreshore
  • • help research the archaeology and history of the river
  • • take part in outreach events
  • • monitor key sites of archaeological interest

You can find out more about what’s involved in our FROG Training and what you could be doing as a FROG Member in our New FROG FAQs

How to join

Our 2020 Training is now fully booked.

We usually run our training in the Spring each year, and we open bookings in the New Year. Our training programme takes place over two days and includes health and safety training, an introduction to the archaeology on the Thames foreshore, a foreshore fieldwork session on an iconic London beach and a guided walk to explore the archaeology of the Roman and Medieval Port of London. After the two-day course, you’ll have a better understanding of how to do archaeological recording on the Thames foreshore.


Searching for artefacts

We don’t regularly collect artefacts, our focus is on how people have used the foreshore in the past and the structures and features exposed by the movement of sediment on the foreshore. We keep in touch with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, mudlarks and mudlarking groups to share information about significant discoveries.

We work closely with the Port of London Authority, and all FROG members must comply with their requirements to access the foreshore. You don’t need a PLA Permit to Search (a mudlarking permit) to be a FROG member and take part in volunteer activities with Thames Discovery Programme. However, visiting the foreshore solely to search for artefacts is not part of a FROG member’s role, and if you intend to do this you will be acting independently and must have a permit.


Health and Safety

We have very strict health and safety requirements, and all FROG members are covered by MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) insurance during FROG activities. You can find out more about foreshore Health and Safety essentials on the foreshore safety page.

Our foreshore work is timed to fit with the tides and maybe affected by the weather, our activities may be early in the morning and at weekends, or cancelled at short notice. Some of the foreshore sites are only exposed at certain times of the year when there are very low tides. Rainfall affects the tide levels on the river, including rain along the Thames and its tributaries outside of the city.

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