Publication – Reflections on Water: Knowing a River

Cover RCC PerspectivesM Dudley, ‘Reflections on Water: Knowing a River’ in RCC Perspectives, 2016:4, 47-54, Environmental Knowledge, Environmental Politics: Case Studies from Canada and Western Europe, Edited by Jonathan Clapperton and Liza Piper.

Project Member Marianna Dudley has contributed an article to an issue of RCC Perspectives on environmental Knowledge and politics. Her contribution explores how we see, understand and (think) we know a river. It is a place that has multiple meanings and uses and therefore knowing means different things to different people.

To read more on “knowing a river” download the RCC Perspectives from the Environment and Society Portal.

Member outputs, engagements and activities

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES & WORKSHOPS (Peer-reviewed & invitational)

 

‘Telling environmental stories: The value of oral history to environmental history’ (Invitational Workshop on Oral and Environmental Histories, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, November 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Harvesting oral histories: Life, work and fog on the Tyne’ (‘Telling Environmental Stories: The Value of Oral History to Environmental History’ (Invitational Workshop on Oral and Environmental Histories, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, November 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Mapping the local response to national strategy: How the British Electrical Grid was built and developed – a southwest England case study’ (Invitational Workshop on Energy History, Harvard University, USA, October 2015) [Kayt Button]

‘The River Tyne’s great floods: Reconnecting pasts with futures’ (Invitational workshop on ‘Floods as Heritage: The Heritage Value of Floods, an Interdisciplinary Workshop’, University of Limoges, France, October 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Tyne after Tyne: Reconnecting river pasts with presents and futures, 1530-2015’ (‘Rains, Rivers and Reservoirs: An International, Interdisciplinary ECR Conference’ organised by the British Council and the Newton Fund, Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Vertical property regimes in Britain’s metal mining areas: an historical perspective’ (Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG Conference), Exeter, September 2015 [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Contested subterranean waterscapes: The vertical geographies of the Derbyshire soughs’ [Poster] (Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Conference, Exeter, September 2015) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Mapping Historical Energy Protest in Somerset, UK, 1870s to present’ (International Conference of Historical Geographers, Royal Geographical Society, London, July 2015) [Jill Payne with Project Students Kayt Button and Alexander Portch]

‘Subterranean water conflicts and the vertical geography of flow: the drainage of the Derbyshire lead mines’, International Conference of Historical Geographers (ICHG), London, July 2015) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Following the Flow: Recreation and Conflict on British Rivers’ (European Society for Environmental History, Versailles, France, July 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Restoring flow?: Soughs as pathways of connectivity’, (European Society for Environmental History, Versailles, France, July 2015) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Energy (dis)connections: The development of landscape “rights” and energy production realities in South West England since the 1870s’ (European Society for Environmental History, Biennial Conference, Versailles, France, July 2015) [Jill Payne]

‘Fluvial pathways: Forging geographic, social, economic, ecological and cultural connections within the River Tyne catchment’ (European Society for Environmental History, Biennial Conference, Versailles, France, July 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Contested subterranean waterscapes: Lead mining soughs and water conflict in Derbyshire’s Derwent Valley’ (International Conference on Waterscapes and Historic Canals as a Cultural Heritage, Venice, May 2015) [Georgina Endfield]

‘Salmonscapes: Restoration, Reinscription and Contestation on the River Tyne’, (International Conference on Waterscapes and Historic Canals as a Cultural Heritage, Venice, May 2015) [Peter Coates]

‘River or ruin?: Connecting histories with publics” (Invitational Workshop, ‘Exploring the Past to Understand the Present and Anticipate the Future’, 1st Franco-British (AHRC/Labex) Research Workshop, Royaumont Foundation, Val d’Oise, France, January 2015) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Between cultural and natural heritage, and human and natural archive’, Invitational Workshop, ‘Exploring the Past to Understand the Present and Anticipate the Future’, 1st Franco-British (AHRC/Labex) Research Workshop, Royaumont Foundation, Val d’Oise, France, January 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘The installation, maintenance and regulation of “sewers” in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British towns’ (‘Cities in Europe; Cities in the World’ (12th International Conference on Urban History, Lisbon, Portugal, September 2014) [Leona Skelton]

‘Mudding the waters: Recreational conflict and rights of use on BNritish rivers’ (‘Environmentalism from below: Appraising the efficacy of small-scale and subaltern environmentalist organizations’, Workshop, University of Alberta with Rachel Carson Center, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, August 2014) [Marianna Dudley]

‘With the tide and against the flow: The Severn Bore – History of a river wave’ (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Nuclear pasts and fracking futures in South West England’ (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Jill Payne]

‘Uses and abuses of the River Tyne, 1500-1800: Uncovering environmental concern in the pre-industrial context’ (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Leona Skelton]

‘Salmonscapes on two “kingly” British rivers of “the king of fish”’ (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Peter Coates]

‘From lead to tail: An environmental history of the Derbyshire Soughs’ [poster] (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Beyond the barrage: Harnessing the power of the tides in the Severn Estuary’ [poster] (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Alexander Portch]

‘The UK National Grid: Environmental impacts, consequences and connectivity’ [poster] (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Kayt Button]

‘The ebb and flow of energy: An environmental history of tidal power in the Severn Estuary, southwest Britain’ (Poster presentation, American Society for Environmental History, annual conference, Seattle, March/April 2016) [Alexander Portch].

 

UK CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & SEMINARS

‘Out of the Mud’ exhibition, with Tana West and Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bristol, November/December 2015 [Marianna Dudley]

‘Landscaping Change|Water’ event (Panel member and speaker, Arnolfini, Bristol, November 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘What have we done to the river and what has the river done to us?: The Tyne’s environmental story, 1530-2015’ (Invitational Departmental Seminar Series, Human Geography Department, Northumbria University, Newcastle, November 2015) [Leona Skelton]

Severn Bore oral history event, Epney, Gloucestershire, 29 October 2015 [Marianna Dudley]

‘The environmental history of the Tyne’ (‘Rivers of the Anthropocene: Explorations in a Human-Engineered World’, Workshop at Newcastle University, June 2015 [Leona Skelton]

‘“Tinkering with the River of Tine”: Attempts to control the climate’s impact on the River Tyne’s flow, functions and form, 1530-1800’ (Workshop on ‘Ruling Climate: The Theory and Practice of Environmental Governmentality, 1500-1800’, Warwick University, May 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Down the rabbit hole: Encounters with the inner earth’ (Symposium on Spaces of Attunement: Life, Matter, and the Dance of Encounters, Cardiff, March 2015) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘British rivers: Flow, ownership and “modern” water’ (guest speaker, ‘Civic Matter: Infrastructure as Politic’ seminar series, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge, February 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Debating energy, constructing landscape: Energy development and the visual in Somerset, England, 1900-1929’ (Centre for History and Economics, Magdalene College & Kings College, Cambridge University, 27 February 2015) [Jill Payne]

‘Knowing place: Recreational use of British rivers’ (‘Rivers of War and Recreation: Round Table on Global Environmental History’, inaugural Birmingham Seminar for Environmental Humanities, University of Birmingham, December 2014) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Mapping Somerset’s energy landscape’ (‘Space and time: Cartographies and memories as method’, South West Doctoral Training College (SWDTC) Workshop, Bristol University, November 2014) [Jill Payne]

‘Beyond the barrage: Harnessing the power of the tides in the Severn Estuary’ [poster] (Severn Estuary Forum, Severn Estuary Partnership, Cardiff, September 2014) [Alexander Portch]. Download poster

 

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

‘Tidal Turnings’ (Panel member, Bristol Loves Tides (Bristol Green Capital 2015 funded project)/’Towards Hydrocitizenship’ AHRC project event, Phoenix Wharf, Bristol, June 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Into the Mud’ (event – funded by AHRC Connected Communities Festival 2015 -exploring sensory engagement with place through close-up examination and creative use of the riverbed, bringing together members of ‘Power and Water’ with ‘Towards Hydrocitizenship’ project (AHRC Connected Communities), local community group Ideal Action, members of the public and artist Tana West, June 2015) [Marianna Dudley with Tana West]

‘Hidden River History’, Festival of Nature, Bristol, June 2015 [Marianna Dudley & Jill Payne]

‘Ralph Gardner’s Plea for a Port at Shields: His England’s Grievance Rediscovered (1655)’ (Public Lecture Series, ‘Once upon a Tyne: Riot and Rebellion on the River’, Low Light Heritage Centre, North Shields, June 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘The Tyne Talks: Environmental History from the View of the River’, Temporary Public Exhibition, Low Light Heritage Centre, North Shields, 12 -30 June 2015 [Leona Skelton]

‘Severn Water Colours’ (Outdoor workshop at Ship’s Graveyard, Sharpness, explored environmental change, visual amenity, and connection to place in collaboration with Bristol Folk House ‘The Versatility of Watercolour’ adult education class; the artworks were made into postcards [print run 400] displayed and distributed free of charge at the Festival of Nature, June 2015), May – June 2015 [Marianna Dudley]

 ‘Investigating our subterranean heritage: Socio-cultural perspectives on Derbyshire’s soughs’, Matlock, AGM of the Peak District Mines Historical Society, Matlock, November 2014 [Carry van Lieshout & Georgina Endfield]

‘Water, Water’ (Street theatre collaboration with writer Katherine Mitchell and Bristol University drama students, based on water rights and access research, performed in various locations around Bristol, Bristol Bright Night [part of Europe-wide Researcher’s Night], At-Bristol Science Centre, Bristol, 26 September 2014 & 25 September 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Somerset’s energy landscape’ (Bristol Bright Night [part of Europe-wide Researcher’s Night], At-Bristol Science Centre, Bristol, 26 September 2014). [Jill Payne]

‘Tickertape: Waterscape’ (public art installation, with Eloise Govier), Millennium Square, Bristol, 26 September 2014). [Jill Payne]

 

STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

‘Degeneration and Regeneration on the Tyne: River Pasts, Presents and Futures’

(Presentation to Clean Tyne Project Steering Committee [including representatives of: Tyne Rivers Trust, the Port of Tyne, Gateshead Council, South Tyneside Council, Newcastle Council and Northumbrian Water], Gateshead Council Offices, Gateshead, 19 June 2014 [Leona Skelton]

‘Degeneration and Regeneration on the Tyne: River Pasts, Presents and Futures’

(Presentation to Tyne Rivers Trust, Corbridge, 6 June 2014 [Leona Skelton]

Invited member, Tyne Rivers Trust ‘Tyne-Specific Education Programme Steering Committee’ (with presentations on 25 November 2014, 20 January 2015, 10 February 2015 and 14 May 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Tidal Estuaries and Barrage Development: a Bristol – Bay of Fundy Comparative Roundtable’ with Emeritus Prof. Graham Daborne (Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada), and representatives of Severn Rivers Trust, Devon and Severn IFCA, RSPB; Angling Trust, UWE and Bath Spa University, Bristol, May 2015 [Marianna Dudley]

 

MEDIA COVERAGE

Marianna Dudley was interviewed for ‘Bristol Loves Tides’ (Bristol Green Capital 2015 funded project) Education Programme film about water, tides, and Bristol, for distribution in local secondary schools, April 2015.

Leona Skelton worked with the Environment Editor at Newcastle’s local newspaper, The Journal, to disseminate her research findings and information about the project, resulting in:

‘A source of environmental concern: The Tyne’s River Court Books, 1644-1834’, ‘Environment, Law and History’ blogspot (David Schorr, Tel Aviv University), http://environmentlawhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/a-source-of-environmental-concern-tynes.html [Leona Skelton]

 

The UK National Grid: Environmental Impacts, Consequences and Connectivity

A poster presented at the 2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimarães, Portugal,  July 2014

 

By Kayt Button

The national Grid in the UK is essentially the transmission system for electricity in the UK. It was built between 1926 and 1933 to scale up the electricity supply of the United Kingdom from small local suppliers providing different frequency and voltage power for a few customers, to an integrated, unified system for all. In order to address the environmental impacts of the national grid both then and now, we need to address the extraction of the fuel, electricity generation, transmission and the usage by the consumer.

Initially 98% of the electricity generation was from the coal which had to be mined leaving scars on the landscape. Additional impacts were felt over the UK on landscape which accommodates the vast number of pylons and miles of overhead cables. Other effects were on the rivers, water from which was used to cool the power generating stations. This resulted in heating the water courses changing habitats for the flora and fauna within them. Air quality was also affected, dirt particles, carbon dioxide, sulphurous gasses, water vapours and heat all being pumped into the atmosphere. Over time as the grid has developed, new fuels have been used and the electricity industry has gone through nationalisation, privatisation and numerous parliamentary acts and regulatory bodies, and environmental issues have been addressed in different ways with varying levels of success.

Whilst the grid was designed to join everything together giving access to cheap electricity for everyone as the benefits of “economy of scale” were to be realised. The grid is so integrated and accepted that it has almost become invisible. Few people know what fuel is used to create their electricity, or where it comes from, so the environmental impacts of this seem abstract despite using electricity every day. The questions this raises are whether we are actually less connected to our energy supply despite the integrated infrastructure and how this affects our relationship to energy, infrastructure and environment.

 

Reports on ‘cultural ecosystem services’

Project team members Peter Coates and Marianna Dudley have been involved in the preparation of two reports on ‘cultural ecosystem services’ that were published as part of the findings of the 2-year UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-On exercise (NEAFO)  that was launched in London on 26 June 2014.
The first report, ‘Arts and Humanities Perspectives on Cultural Ecosystem Services’, for which Peter was lead author, is the output of an AHRC-funded working party representing the broad spectrum of arts and humanities disciplines that Peter convened with the assistance of the AHRC’s Gail Lambourne. The other report, a ‘Keywords Manual’ on cultural ecosystem services, was prepared by Marianna with Peter’s assistance, and funded by Defra and various UK research councils through the Cambridge-based World Conservation Monitoring Centre (part of UNEP).
Download the reports below: