Follow our e-learning course.

Develop your own coastal adaptation strategy by learning key methodologies and techniques.

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

VIDEO: Rhoda Ballinger, from Cardiff University, explains the complexity of the Severn Estuary

 "We've learnt the value of tapping into local knowledge and expertise"                                                            Rhoda Ballinger
"'We have relished the opportunity to further our engagement and outreach on climate change adaptation in the Severn Estuary".                            Paul Parker


Education Pack "Adapting to Climate Change in Wales"

Research Advisory Group reports (SECCRAG)

Summary of the Severn Estuary Scenarios

Results from Delphi Survey

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 

Severn Estuary

"We now have better informed stakeholders who are more engaged with the debate on future coastal issues, including climate change"

map severn

See a close up on Google Maps

Who we are:

The Expert Couplet involved Cardiff University and the Severn Estuary Partnership. Stakeholders included local planners and educators and school children were involved from the Welsh side of the estuary.

Key climate change issues:

Sea level rise and storm surges. Click on this link to learn more about Climate Change in the Severn Estuary; coastal activities that could be affected, drivers and impacts and our institutional framework.

What we did:

Surveys, workshops, exploratory socio-economic scenarios, adaptation guidelines, simple summaries of climate change science and impacts, a baseline study of the Severn estuary environment, large scale events and education materials.

The Severn Estuary coastal adaptation guidelines and actions:

To download the guidelines click here. To download the actions click here

Our unique approach:

  • Adaptation guidelines instead of an adaptation strategy: there was concern that all the different planning authorities around the Severn were taking varying approaches and using different climate change predictions
  • Special focus on planning and Local Authorities because of their particular concern about development and flood risk on the urban, low-lying and potentially vulnerable shores of the estuary
  • Awareness of the need to raise awareness of climate change in local school children, tomorrow's decision makers.

What we learned:

The Severn Estuary is large and complex and it takes considerable time and effort to develop outputs which are meaningful to the estuary community. We've also learnt the value of tapping into local knowledge and expertise. It was clear that our engagement with representative local authorities in addition to estuary-wide forums and networks enabled better 'ground truthing' of the final adaptation guidelines.


Read the full introductory text to the Severn case study

Planning to adapt in the Severn Estuary


Engaging stakeholders

stakeholdersA wide range of communication activities throughout the project ensured that the target audience was made aware of the project and kept abreast of project developments. The use of existing communication channels and mechanisms, particularly SEP meetings and outputs, meant that there was a ready made audience and dissemination route. However, considerable additional time and effort was needed to target and engage with relevant planning officers around the estuary.


Identifying the issues

guidance1It was beneficial to have several stages to the process of identifying issues rather than a single workshop, particularly given the scale and complexity of the estuary. It was also useful to use the issue gathering stage to build momentum and interest in the project. The development of the climate change cards and interlinkages with the research community acquired through the Severn Estuary Climate Change Research Advisory Group also enabled us to gain the confidence and respect of the planning/policy community as they were most interested in these elements.


Developing future scenarios

guidance2The scenario development process on the Severn Estuary has been relatively successful and has provided a rich series of exploratory scenarios to inform a range of planning and adaptation processes. However, the process was made more complicated by the complexity of the Severn estuary itself (both in terms of environments and governance arrangements) and by the consequent need to engage with a very wide number and range of stakeholders.


Designing the adaptation strategy

guidance3The transition from scenario to guideline development on the Severn followed a slightly different route to the generic IMCORE process, reflecting the modified approach to scenario development and validation on the Severn, which was necessary as a result of the estuary's physical and organizational complexity.

This last stage of adaptation guideline development was reasonably successful in harnessing the involvement, knowledge and expertise from selected local authorities around the estuary


Building institutional capacity

guidance4The Expert Couplet developed well and the IMCORE programme evolved to provide a useful output to the Severn Estuary community. The IMCORE process on the Severn also enabled key current (local authority planners) and future stakeholders (school children) around the estuary to learn more about climate change and to question their ideas and develop a better understanding about climate change adaptation.


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.

 footertransparent updated