Skip to main content
HRD Perspectives from the CHERISH project – Bath Spa University

Investigating climate change impacts on coastal heritage in Ireland and Wales – palaeoenvironmental perspectives from the CHERISH project

Wednesday 16 March, 2022 – Wednesday 16 March, 2022
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM


Part of the Hazard, Risk and Disaster (HRD) Research Lecture Series 2021-22.

The winter of 2014 was exceptionally stormy in the British Isles, with major damage on coasts exposed to the North Atlantic. Combined with the impacts of subsequent individual events, such as Ex-Hurricane Ophelia in October 2017, this recent stormy period has highlighted the vulnerability of coastal communities to current and future climate change. Attention has generally focused on impacts to infrastructure, property and communities, with less emphasis on implications for coastal heritage that are important from both a cultural and economic perspective. CHERISH (Climate, Heritage and Environments of Reefs, Islands and Headlands) is a five year, multi-disciplinary project supported through the Ireland-Wales Territorial Co-operation Programme (2014-2020) which is focusing on past, present and future climate change impacts on coastal heritage in Ireland and Wales.

This presentation will provide an overview of how climate variability and sea level change have affected CHERISH study areas, setting contemporary climate challenges within a long-term context. Palaeonvironmental records from coastal lakes and bogs have been developed to investigate patterns of storminess across the region. Integration of palaeoenvironmental evidence with archaeological excavations and documentary records at key sites is revealing valuable insights into human-environment interactions in these dynamic coastal environments at a range of timescales.

About the speaker

Sarah Davies is Professor and Head of the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University. She joined the department in 2002 following doctoral and post-doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh. Sarah’s research focuses on human-environment interactions and climate variability over a range of timescales, from the recent historical past to millennia. She leads the Aberystwyth University contribution to the EU Ireland-Wales programme funded CHERISH project, which brings together geographers, archaeologists and geoscientists to investigate the impacts of climate change on coastal heritage around Ireland and Wales.

Watch a recording of the seminar below

Edit section | Website feedback to