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On-going projects


Capturing Intergenerational Narratives of Coastal Change


The East Yorkshire Holderness coast has some of the most rapidly eroding coastline in the world. This is due, in large part, to the soft composition of the boulder clay cliffs, but rates are accelerating rapidly in response to climate drivers, particularly storminess and sea-level rise, which is increasing wave loading. 

Sections of cliff alongside the Holderness coastline are retreating at a rate of over 10m per year

Understanding lived experiences of children and young people and their evolving relationship with their environment, along with building intergenerational dialogues within communities can be an effective way to help shape a more resilient and engaged community that are prepared for the challenges of climate change.


Project funded by

earth-arcade-black-small nerc-logo-rameses

The INSECURE project is using a matrix of participatory research methods to explore how young people engage, examine and understand coastal change within the context of their place within their communities. The project is working with over 60 young people at Withernsea High School, which is situated close to the eroding cliffs and thus the school students see the day-to-day effects of their changing coastline.

Participatory sessions covering climate change, coastal erosion processes and related hazards, detailing how communities like Withernsea would be impacted into the future are being used to inform. Within the sessions stories of Withernsea's past and how coastal change has a long and interlinked history with the town's development and people's lives is also being highlighted.

The young people are being tasked with exploring themes of coastal change and climate impacts through the use of empathy and community mapping – placing themselves into the wider community. As part of our participatory approach, we are training the pupils in storytelling and research techniques and the young people gathered stories of coastal change.



Lead Researcher: Katie Parsons

Co-Investigators: Florence Halstead;  Lisa Jones

Partners: Withernsea High

Creative Content: Withernsea High School - Year 8 Geography Students and Community Members

Drone photography: Andy Medcalf

The Impact

The pupils chose to present their findings in a range of creative ways, writing poems, short stories, alongside videos and pictures they had taken to represent what they had seen and heard. The outcomes of this project are raising awareness and understanding of coastal change and how communities are living with these natural processes which are being exacerbated by climate change. The project is also elucidating how the processes of being equipped with new knowledge can foster engagement with the environment and broader social action within the communities. The film below is a culmination of these initial outputs the children and young people have collectively created as part of their journey.

Click to view the film - Insecure - created with the Withernsea community

The film has been nominated in the Climate Crisis category of the Arts and Humanities Research Council's (AHRC) Research in Films Awards (RIFA) 2021. RIFA is the only film awards dedicated to celebrating and recognising arts and humanities research through film. Following this nomination, Katie Parsons took part in an online debate during COP26 called "Can films save the planet?, which explores how filmmaking can be used to inspire and mobilise present and future generations to adapt and change to help save our planet.

Click to view a recording of the AHRC debate 'Can films save the planet?' 

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