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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 

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.

Further planning and resources for communication activities really would have been beneficial, particularly during the early stages of the project. There was sometimes perhaps too much focus on the IMCORE process rather than findings in some of the communication outputs and meetings, particularly in the early stages of the project when outputs were still in development. However, later outputs, particularly the climate change report cards, have been received with considerable enthusiasm and interest.

The Severn Estuary Expert Couplet has been involved in a wide variety of communication and stakeholder engagement activities, including ones for the policy and planning community and others for a secondary school audience (see box below).

Communication activities and outputs on the Severn

Communication activities / outputs for the general stakeholder audience:

Communication activities / outputs for the secondary school audience:

Such activities were deemed essential in order to:

  •  communicate the project messages and outputs to key target audiences
  •  to raise awareness of the project
  •  to trigger changes in attitudes and improve knowledge and understanding of coastal climate change
  •  to foster improved approaches to climate change adaptation

To learn more about why we focused on these types of stakeholders children.


Education workshop – the interactive exercise

The following activities are some of the key ones which were employed to raise awareness and engage with local, Severn estuary stakeholders. In addition to these, regular and frequent presentations were given at SEP Joint Advisory Committees and discussions about IMCORE progress and development became a standing item on the SEP Management Group agendas throughout the time frame of the project. A number of communication materials including an IMCORE Severn Estuary banner, posters and leaftlets were produced at various stages in the project. An example of the main leaflet produced is shown below:

Click here to view the leaflet explaining the purpose and background to the project on the Severn

Click the link here to view the photo of banner/posters in workshop


Adapting to Climate Change in Wales - Education pack
What we did

Produced a climate change education pack for teachers of key stage 4 (14 - 16 year old) school pupils (supported with Beacons and Countryside Council for Wales funding).

Why we did it

The education pack was designed to inspire young people to adapt their behaviour to ensure their future sustainability. The pack was also designed to help teachers deliver high quality, balanced information on the topic in a Welsh/ Severn Estuary context.

What we achieved An education pack which supports a broad curriculum (Geography, Geology, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Humanities, Personal and Social Education) and contains

sections on:

- The global climate perspective

- The Welsh climate perspective

- Food supply and natural resources

- Settlement

- Critical infrastructure

- Industry

- Health and wellbeing

In terms of education resources, these include:

- Signposting for teachers to show which parts of the national curriculum are covered

- Key learning outcomes

- Teacher background information

- Pupil notes

- Activities (classroom and individual activities)

- References

Problems we had Classifying climate change information into suitable themes that supported national curriculum subjects

Getting sufficient illustrative materials for all sections and for relevant geographical areas.

Ensuring that the pack was written in an appropriate style and format for the audience.


A full review of the National curriculum was undertaken and all references to climate change were catalogued.

Obtaining relevant illustrative material was a long-winded process but was facilitated by extensive internet searching and by exploring contacts and grey literature of colleagues.

The use of a Steering Group with external education and youth training experts was extremely valuable in keeping the pack relevant and appropriate. The parallel development of education workshops through the Beacons project also enabled the project team to gain an insight and understanding of the content, level and style to be used in the pack.

What we learned

Developing an education pack is a worthwhile exercise but the time taken to develop such an output is considerable and requires extensive research. It is important to engage with the potential audience (school children) and also with teachers through Steering Groups etc. to ensure an appropriate product.


Click here to view the Severn Education pack and will also be available shortly here

N.B. We've sent out evaluation questionnaires:the results of these are available on our YOCCO website


Education activities: workshops
What we did

Organised a series of interactive workshops in the Severn estuary area and across Wales with Key Stage 4 students

Why we did it

• To raise awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation options for young people

• To test education materials and approach to be used in education pack at workshops

• To gain an awareness of the issues and perceptions of young people in relation to climate change

What we achieved • Various successful interactive workshops with schools in the Severn Estuary area and across Wales

• A well structured and workable workshop format and content which can be adapted to various school workshop settings

• Cardiff University and Severn Estuary Partnership staff acquired new skills in engaging with secondary school audiences

Problems we had • Learning to simplify key messages to the KS4 audience has been a challenge

• Another difficulty was finding suitable schools and organising dates for workshops around their (and our) availability.

• Making sure that workshop venues and arrangements were suitable


Need to be aware of previous climate change activities within schools

Need to ensure that arrangements with schools include teacher support for classroom activities (and to understand rules of 'discipline' in each school)

Feedback and evaluation from the participants along with de-briefing of staff has enabled the workshop format and content to be modified and improved throughout the workshops series.

Considerable liaison with schools was needed for latter workshops to ensure that all arrangements were in place.

What we learned

It is very worthwhile to engage with young people about the important aspect of climate change adaptation.

When there is a broad Steering Group and Partners some of whom have very different approaches to 'learning' and engaging with young people, sufficient time is needed to develop a common vision.

Other educators are frequently very happy to share resources and ideas.

Time/resources needed to acquire specific data for education pack graphics/exercises.

You should never compromise on any aspects (time slot; room size; facilities) for school workshops!


Workshop reports and materials

N.B. Young Persons' policy document is available here or download the file here.


Severn Estuary Climate Change Research Advisory Group (SECCRAG)
What we did

Continued to host meetings of the above group which had been initiated in the INTERREG III COREPOINT project

Why we did it

To identify research priorities for the marine impacts of climate change on the Severn Estuary.

To explore how research activity on the estuary could be better integrated and related to the needs of adaptation.

To be an opportunity for networking, getting better informed and obtaining input of views from both scientists and professionals particularly related to the physical science of the estuary

What we achieved A series of workshops and meetings which have contributed towards the scientific knowledge and understanding of climate change and its impacts across the Severn Estuary (and which have particularly informed the development of the report cards – see other box)

To provide professional comment on climate variables in order to gain an important regional overview of climate change and its various potential impacts

A professional network which can be informed and engaged on a variety of Severn estuary topics.

Problems we had Engaging with the non-academic research community (consultancies)

Engaging with more than a relatively small proportion of Severn estuary researchers at any one meeting. The pressures of the research culture of many universities make it difficult for researchers to commit to many local meetings

Trying to identify social scientists to talk about the human impacts of climate change – due to a lack of research in this area


Presentations at SEP meetings and events have helped raised awareness of the SECCRAG group and engage better with the consultancies.

What we learned

There is a considerable hub of researchers who are keen to participate in such a research group, but meetings should not be more than about once a year, given staff time commitments.


Click the link to view the Severn Expert Couplet SECCRAG reports.

Click the links here to view the Severn SECCRAG report form February 2010 and May 2009.


Report cards
What we did

Produced a series of non-technical report cards on key themes related to climate change.

Why we did it

Produce a series of report cards on a variety of climate change related themes as specific as possible to the Severn Estuary region;

Provide a summary of current and up to date research of climate change science (trends and projections) for the Severn Estuary region;

Attempt to localise regional and global scale climate change information;

Present an impartial summary of the evidence, understanding of and future projections for climate change without any bias towards a particular view or evidence source;

Present this information in an accessible and understandable format that non-specialists can easily interpret;

Provide key references relating to climate change, specific to the Severn Estuary

What we achieved A series of non-technical report cards which have been widely distributed to key stakeholders in the estuary including policy makers and local authority officers. From feedback it is suggested that these could be a useful reference tool for effective decision making around the estuary.
Problems we had Difficulties in downscaling information at the estuary scale

Difficulties in deciding which climate change predictions, emission scenarios and levels of uncertainty would be most appropriate for end-users

Difficulties in writing and presenting information in a sufficiently easy to read format and style


UKCP09 predictions were cross-referenced with local science on the estuary, wherever possible

Central estimates and medium emissions scenarios were chosen

Considerable piloting and evaluation of initial drafts of the report cards was done in order to refine their format, style and content.

What we learned

It is possible to simplify complex scientific information on climate change into 'bite size' non technical report cards.

For further information reference should be made to the specific report on the Report Card Process.


Click here to view the Severn COREPOINT Climate change impacts

Click here to view the Severn Report card process report

Click here to view the extract from report card


State of the Severn Report
What we did

Produced a 'State of the Severn' report for a wide stakeholder audience

Why we did it

The report aims to:

  • engage and inform local stakeholders about the 'State of the Severn Estuary' and what it has to offer.
  • provide an overview about the state of the estuary in a user-friendly, easy to understand format.
  • provide a baseline for future reporting of indicators of the Severn estuary
  • establish baseline data sets in the context of climate and other coastal change
What we achieved A report summarising the key characteristics and trends associated with the following aspects of the Severn estuary:
  • Physical & Natural Environment
  • Human environment including population, settlement and uses
  • Environmental Quality
  • Management of the estuary environment
Problems we had Difficulties in summarising complex and detailed scientific information into 'bite size' chunks

Difficulties in finding estuary-specific data and information for some topics, particularly related to the human environment

Difficulties in writing and presenting information in a sufficiently easy to read format and style

What we learned

It is anticipated that this document will be the first in a series that aims to review and monitor the local natural and human environment. Future issues may be more specific and focus on just one topic and particular indicators in detail. It is the purpose of this first report to take a broad perspective and in particular, to consider interlinkages between different uses and resources. In a restricted geographical area where demands from urbanisation, industry, recreation, conservation and climate change are increasing, this report aims to use best available science inform a wide ranging audience.


Click here to view the Report


Severn Estuary Forums
What we did

Organised annual estuary forums and invited a wide range of stakeholders. The forums included a broad spectrum of topics including power generation, marine planning, industrial developments, recreational uses and a summary of current and emerging policy of relevance. A report from the 2009 and 2010 forum events can be accessed by clicking on the links.

Why we did it

To engage with a wide range of stakeholders and to inform them of key issues related to climate change, marine planning and the Severn estuary.

What we achieved Wide stakeholder attendance from across the Severn estuary region and from a wide range of sectors and types of organisation.
Problems we had Attendance from all sectors of society to the annual forum event

The provision of a wide and varied agenda, mixing policy with practical adaptation measures and public friendly presentation. Also the operation of a tiered ticketing system.

What we learned

Organised annual estuary forums and invited a wide range of stakeholders. The forums included a broad spectrum of topics including power generation, marine planning, industrial developments, recreational uses and a summary of current and emerging policy of relevance. A report from the 2009 and 2010 forum events can be accessed by clicking the links.


Click on the link here to go to the forum


Severn Estuary Partnership communication outputs
What we did

Included updates on IMCORE in SEP general communication outputs including the newsletter Severn Tidings (view this here) and the regular, monthly news bulletin, SEP e-news

Updates on the IMCORE project were also provided at relevant SEP meetings including the Joint Advisory Committee and Management Group meetings.

Why we did it

To provide an easily accessible, up to date briefing on IMCORE progress throughout the project to a wide stakeholder base.

What we achieved IMCORE articles and discussion within the Spring 2009, Summer 2010, Summer and Autumn 2011 issues of Severn Tidings

IMCORE updates within December 2008, March 2010, May 2010, June 2010, July 2010, October 2010, May 2011 SEP e-news through the project.

Problems we had Updating contact database. Engagement with relevant audiences through E-News.

With the high turnover of staff around the Severn estuary, especially in Local Authorities, it has been a challenge to keep SEP's extensive (over 3000 contacts) contact database up to date. However we have dedicated time to this resource and endeavour to continually update the database.

Similarly, with increasing workloads it is becoming increasing difficult to reach the relevant audiences through a standard E-news publication. To this end we have been working to keep the E-News publications as original and interactive as possible.

What we learned

We can reach a very wide stakeholder audience through the SEP database.


Selected, recent IMCORE articles in Severn Tidings: issue 11issue 12, issue 13


Severn Estuary Partnership IMCORE website
What we did

Constructed several pages of the SEP website on IMCORE

Why we did it

- To provide an easily accessible, up to date briefing on the IMCORE Severn Estuary Expert Couplet for Severn Estuary stakeholders

- To use the SEP website which stakeholders are accustomed to using and trust as the main conduit for providing information on various Severn Expert Couplet workshops throughout the project (including the education component of IMCORE/Beacons)

What we achieved A SEP IMCORE website with distinct sections related to Severn Estuary Expert Couplet workshops. This includes links to the main IMCORE website and the Beacons education project website.
What we learned

The IMCORE SEP website has been a useful supplement for workshop and conference attendees, providing additional contextual material.


Click here to view the Severn Estuary Gateway 

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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