16 February 2012
Professor Peter Coates has received an AHRC award to continue his collaboration with co-investigators at East Anglia and Durham (history departments) and Nottingham (geography) on histories of environmental change. The 12-month award has been made as part of a call for proposals on the theme of 'Care for the Future: Enhancing the Role of Arts and Humanities Perspectives on Environmental Values and Change'. The overall award is worth £99,500; c. £79,600 AHRC contribution; the maximum that could be applied for was £100,000), of which £40,800 (£32,640 AHRC contribution) will come to Bristol, where the award is based. As well as including investigator time and overheads, the award (entitled 'The Places that Speak to Us and the Publics We Talk With: Shaping Environmental Histories') funds a series of activities and events related to the previous year-long AHRC Research Network, 'Local Places, Global Processes: Histories of Environmental Change' (part of the cross-RCUK initiative 'Living with Environmental Change'), which involved the same team of investigators. http://www.environmentalhistories.net/
Working with various partners - Forestry Commission, Northumbrian Water, the National Trust, Royal Geographical Society and Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty management team - the project seeks to enable innovative and productive knowledge exchanges and to facilitate better understanding of cultural considerations that influence responses to management decisions. Activities include a meeting that will feed into the final report of the Independent Panel on Forestry; a 'What’s the Story?' workshop led by an environmental journalist that will help arts and humanities researchers increase their influence by translating their work on environmental subjects into print journalism; and a place-based project that investigates the local co-production and reception of climate change adaptation strategies adopted by environmental managers at Kielder Forest and Water, Wicken Fen and the Quantocks.
There are two specifically Bristol-based activities: 'Fallen Fruits: The Disappearing Orchard Landscape of the Quantock Foothills', which, in partnership with the Quantock Hills AONB service, will map the changing orchard landscape of this particular part of Somerset and engage with orchards as a key ingredient of local identity and heritage; and 'Walking Militarized Landscapes', which, in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers, will develop perimeter walks based at the Sennybridge training estate in mid-Wales and Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire for RGS-IBG's 'Discovering Britain' project, for which Peter has already developed a walk in the Quantocks ( 'Walking with Coleridge and Wordsworth').
These two projects will provide valuable post-doctoral experience for Dr Marianna Dudley, the project student on the AHRC project on Militarized Landscapes (2007-10) (Professor Coates with Dr Tim Cole).