University of Nottingham

Narrating Environmental Change

Impact Fellowship's third workshop

The primary aim of this workshop was to bring together the Primary Investigators (and Co-Investigators) from the AHRC Researching Environmental Change (REC) networks, collaborative external partners (including representatives from The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), National Trust, and LWEC) and other interested parties to discuss network outcomes, share learning experiences and generate ideas for future funding.

Participants were invited to explore different methods of public engagement and the possibilities offered by different narratives and histories of environmental change (global, scientific, local, cultural, negative, positive, amateur, professional).

  1. What has been the public value of the REC networks? Who has been engaged and through what means? 
  2. What is the role for narrative and stories in histories and futures of environmental change?
  3. What difference does an arts and humanities perspective make to researching environmental change? How can the activities of the REC networks be used as a bridge/interface with LWEC (Living with Environmental Change)?


Conclusions and Outcomes

All of the Researching Environmental Change network leaders found it useful to meet each other and to share and discuss approaches and findings from their meetings. Progress was also made in thinking about next steps and work that remains to be done in terms of bridging with the sciences and other initiatives like LWEC and the UK National Ecosystem Assessment. 

Mike Hulme, a member of the Commissioning Panel for the networks and a member of several of the networks, responded to the day. Mike raised questions about: 'What knowledges count?', 'Could (and should) the environmental humanities speak with a united viewpoint?'

Mike then highlighted the number of academic journals from a wide array of arts and humanities disciplines producing special issues on climate change, before emphasising the importance of place and scale, and of different (and changing) value systems.  Mike concluded by explaining that investigating how knowledges are made can help to overcome the great divide between the arts and sciences, and provided the opportunity to argue for similarities too. There is great potential for serious cross-disciplinary work as we move away from the idea that not all environmental problems are scientific problems.

Narrating Environmental Change workshop


Images of Environmental Change


Event details

Date: 14th June 2011

Location: Royal Geographical Society, London

  • Stephen Daniels, Director of the AHRC Landscape and Environment programme, University of Nottingham
  • Catherine Souch, Head of Research and Higher Education, RGS-IBG 
  • Lucy Veale, Research Fellow AHRC Landscape and Environment programme, University of Nottingham 
  • Charlotte Lloyd, Project Coordinator AHRC Landscape and Environment programme, University of Nottingham
  • Sheila Anderson, King’s College London
  • Graeme Barker, University of Cambridge 
  • Stephen Bottoms, University of Leeds 
  • Nick Brooks, Independent researcher and consultant 
  • Joanne Clarke, University of East Anglia 
  • Ben Cowell, National Trust 
  • Peter Coates, University of Bristol 
  • Tom Corby, University of Westminster 
  • Georgina Endfield, University of Nottingham 
  • Greg Garrard, Bath Spa University 
  • Axel Goodbody, University of Bath 
  • Mike Goodman, King’s College London 
  • Gary Grubb, AHRC 
  • Mike Hulme, University of East Anglia 
  • Gail Lambourne, AHRC 
  • Hayden Lorimer, University of Glasgow 
  • David Moon, University of Durham 
  • Ayesha Mukherjee, University of Exeter 
  • Simon Naylor, University of Exeter 
  • Dan Osborn, LWEC 
  • Neil Ravenscroft, University of Brighton 
  • Paul Warde, University of East Anglia 
  • Mike Wilson, University College Falmouth



Workshop collaborators




Related links



 Being, not being a tree
 Weather diary
 Outcrop of lake sediment

All participants were asked to send 'images of environmental change' from their networks. These were then used as stimuli for the afternoon discussion. The images above are, from left to right; 'Being, not being a tree' from Reflecting on environmental change through site-based performance; Historic weather diary (Derbyshire Record Office) from Cultural Spaces of Climate; and an outcrop of lake sediment from the Central Sahara from Environmental Change in Prehistory

Landscape and Environment Programme

School of Geography
University Park
University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 66071