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The IMCORE project ran from 2008 to 2011 and was funded under the EU Interreg IVB programme.

VIDEO: Graham Lymbery talks about the Sefton coast and what they have learnt

Access or download overviews, tools, techniques and examples of visualisation tools, educational tools, legal and policy tools, future scenario techniques, etc

Practical tips for following the IMCORE approach to planning to adapt to coastal climate change 

The approach to working with academics that exists on the Sefton Coast works well as long as we recognize that there will be limitations due to resources and other commitments and that the process inevitably relies to a great extent on individuals and the relationships between individuals. It appears to work best where both the practitioner and academic are passionate about the coast as they are more likely to overcome any barriers to achieving results.

When implementing the IMCORE process in Sefton it did require adapting to fit with the particular circumstances found at this site. We already have a long standing relationship with a range of academics facilitated through the Sefton Coast Partnership so there was no need to establish an expert couplet node. There was already a good understanding of the issues so this first workshop (Issues Workshop) was focused more on raising awareness of the project to produce an adaptation study. When considering scenarios (Adaptation Workshop) we have previously taken a normative approach and chose to continue with this approach especially as we already had a vision for the coast that had previously been agreed by the partnership. For the scenarios work we chose to practice some of the techniques on students first as this provided a safe environment for us to test our skills and understanding of this approach. The adaptation strategy became an adaptation study as it became clear that it was more important for us to get the issues reflected in a range of strategy documents rather than create a new one. This study included a risk assessment approach to identifying potential impacts of climate change as this was an approach that was familiar to Partners on the coast.

Education and communication was a theme throughout the project with a strong focus on us learning how it can best be done through the development and testing of educational material. The educational work included working with a range of schools to develop an education pack and the lessons learnt from this fed into other communication activity. We also made use of publications such as the Coastlines magazine and conferences and forums to bring together and disseminate information.

Click here for Sefton Coastlines summer 2010 magazine

Click here to visit the Sefton's Natural Coast website

We undertook some work to improve our understanding of the potential impacts of climate change and this focused on the impact of coastal erosion on habitats and the potential change in dune hydrology over the next hundred years as this would impact on dune slacks. The selection of these areas of work came about through discussion with other Partners on the coast.

These various strands of work ran concurrently, overlapped with each other and did not necessarily follow a clearly designed brief from the start other than the main elements of the IMCORE process. This in part reflected the need to learn by doing but also reflected the need to reflect both Partners and community aspirations and it is this flexibility that has led to the project being a success at a local level.

Expert Couplet Node

As mentioned earlier there has been a long history of working in partnership with academics and as such the expert couplet node did not need to be established. The following sets out the vision, objectives and scope of the research task group that forms part of the Sefton Coast Partnership and has acted as the expert couplet node within the IMCORE process.

Click here to download a copy of Sefton's terms of reference report.

Vision of the Couplet

To promote awareness and create opportunities for research including collaborative research activities.


Key Objectives include:

  • Producing a research strategy for the Sefton Coast
  • Facilitating and enhancing scientific understanding of the coast
  • Enhance the profile of the Sefton Coast Partnership within academic circles
  • Securing funding for academic research, including the submission of research bids
  • Organising an Annual Coastal Conference on graduate research projects, an annual 6th form conference and an annual research strategy day


The activities of the ECN are based around the desire to improve our understanding of the Sefton Coast, in particular the geomorphology, and to ensure that this is communicated to practitioners in order to inform policy. It operates on a virtual basis and continues to succeed in bringing together researchers and their ideas. Increasingly within academic circles the profile of the Sefton Coast Partnership has been significantly raised through international, refereed conferences and internationally peer-reviewed academic journals.

This learning portal brings together the results and lessons learned from the IMCORE project. This project was funded under the Interreg IVB programme from 2008 to 2011.

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