Since March, communities across Ireland and Wales have experience significant changes in how we go about our every day lives. Recent weeks have seen restrictions on travel start to lift in Ireland, while here in Wales, we remain restricted to journeys of 5 miles or less (with some exceptions!) until the next review in early July.
During this time, we have changed how we work as a project team moving to mostly online and digital ways of speaking to each other *and* the communities we’re working in within the project – you can read more about how we have adapted and continue to support our communities in April’s blog here. These changes have been mirrored across everything we’re involved in, including other partnerships and projects. For the Cardiff University team, this has meant re-imagining the work we do with the Severn Estuary Partnership (SEP), and the Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset project. Since Lockdown started in March, we have been finding new ways of engaging with our communities, and also trying to find out ways to address some of the newer challenges coming as lockdown restrictions in Wales start to be loosened.
Set up in 1995, SEP is an independent, estuary-wide non-statutory initiative working with everyone involved in the management of the Severn Estuary, which bridges the border between Wales and England. The team work on a range of projects to support and enhance community engagement and connection with their local environment, including the recent Discover the Severn project. Throughout lockdown, one of our most active projects has been Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset, which is a community campaign project aimed at improving bathing water quality. In the last few weeks, the team have responded to the changing ways people are experiencing the environment – from trying to create a connection to the estuary back when most people couldn’t access the estuary or beach through their #BringYourBeachHome Campaign (a collaboration with Litter Free Coast and Sea Dorset)……
……to making sure we keep people thinking about sustainability and disposing of waste and litter properly with messages about reducing waste, continuing recycling behaviour and shopping local. As lockdown has started to life, our focus has switched to encouraging people to #keepitclean, reminding them to take rubbish home and dispose of it responsibly, now that we are starting to be able to enjoy our beaches and coastlines again!
We’ve even had a blogpost featuring CCAT’s very own Emma McKinley showing us how to make your own re-usable mask – complete with a marine theme!
As you can see, even in these unexpected times, everyone within the CCAT team are working hard to ensure we are supporting our communities around our themes of sustainability and adaptation!
Check out the websites below for more information about the projects mentioned in the blog:
Severn Estuary Partnership – http://www.severnestuarypartnership.org.uk/
Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset – http://www.litterfreecoastandsea.co.uk/somerset/
CCAT is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme.