meet climate proof area's

Scientists and civil servants from Belgium, England, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands unite in one project: Climate Proof Areas. Their goal? Creating safer, more natural and more prosperous land use options for future development. Thirteen partners from five different countries joined forces to develop new and innovative methods and help render threatened areas ‘climate proof’. 

Since 2008, the team is collecting insights on:
- the effects of climate change on the North-Sea Region
- the implementation of innovative measures in 10 pilot sites
- recommendations for gaining political support
- the necessary tools for building your own climate proof area

By 2012 a toolkit for successful climate adaptation will be presented, built on the results of their own research and co-operations with various stakeholders. Let’s adapt!

Policy recommendations accepted by EU!

Adaptation to Climate Change requires a whole new way of cross-sector and cross border thinking. Civil servants and scientists have spent the last couple of years researching the changes policies can make to help speed up the process. As a result, the blue book of climate proofing is on its way! On the 8th of March the Climate Proof Areas Team presented its political statement to the EU, lead by Frank Ahlhorn of the University of Oldenburg. The sustainable Development Group was very pleased with the presentation and have agreed to take this statement one step further! The final texts are being reviewed by the EU commission now. As soon as we get our final ok, we will provide all newsletter subscriberswith the blue book by the end of June. We'll keep you posted!

Tichwell hide ready for action

One of the best places to go and experience wildlife on the Norfolk Coast has just got a whole lot better!  With funding from a European Interreg IV North-Sea Region programm, a new state-of-the-art wildlife watching area has been created. The CPA project was interested in providing funding for the new hides at Titchwell Marsh as they will be looking over a managed realignment scheme, where sea defences are set inland to allow changes to take place on the coastline.  This flood defence technique may become more commonplace in the future and the new hides allow the public an opportunity to see the changes taking place at Titchwell Marsh and understand the benefits of this method of adaptation.

Rob Coleman, Senior Sites Manager at RSPB Titchwell Marsh said: “These fantastic new facilities will offer visitors to Titchwell a unique opportunity to see the changes taking place at Titchwell Marsh and understand what managed realignment schemes are all about.  It will allow our visitors to see how the wildlife of the reserve responds. Inspired by a bird’s wing and the war time buildings on site, the new hide will be unique to look at and unique to look out of. Water birds such as teal, wigeon and avocet will reveal their intimate daily routines in front of the wide panoramic views. A new bespoke window design will allow all to enjoy the reserve and it’s wildlife whatever the weather.

RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve is open every day with friendly staff and volunteers around to help families explore, birdwatchers spot the species and nature lovers indulge in beautiful surroundings.

Problem analysis and solutions in schouwen-duiveland

The island of Schouwen-Duiveland is already adapting to climate change. There are several local projects, like adaptations to the Port of Bruinisse or a climate proof freshwater situation. Since there was a lack of knowledge on the regional effects on Climate change, the Dutch CPA team drew up a problem analysis identifying the most important climate change issues for the island. The next step was to bring all parties together in working groups about projects dealing with the main issues of climate change for the island: sea-level rise, drought, excessive rainfall and summer droughts.

The CPA group worked together with local farmers on the freshwater availability on the island. Climate change will intensify problems with drought, but the farmers see possibilities to make more efficient use of the freshwater, by example by storing water during rainy conditions. 

The municipality of Schouwen-Duiveland is working on a long term vision (2040)and policy for the island. There’s a fruitful cooperation between the CPA team and the municipality team, so the long term vision will be a nice example of a climate proof local policy.

This lead to new thinking tanks and follow-up meetings that will take this newfound cross-sector cooperation one step further. To be continued!

Burwell Fen Habitat Restoration Pilot

The CPA Pilot study at Wicken Fen has focused on the re-creation of fen habitat using low cost non-engineering solutions to assist the long term survival of species threatened by the adverse effects of climate change. Enhancing public access to the countryside has helped the National Trust raise public awareness of the threats and challenges posed by climate change.

The site chosen for the CPA Pilot was Burwell Fen Farm, 121 hectares of former arable farmland adjacent to the historic Wicken Fen nature reserve. The land was purchased by the National Trust in 2001 for the Wicken Fen Vision, a 100 year project to create a 53 km² landscape scale nature reserve and ‘green lung’ for Cambridgeshire. The Pilot study has involved the construction of a low level earth bund designed to retain water to assist in the eventual creation of 80 hectares of wetland habitat. It is perhaps ironic that completion of the bund has been delayed by unusually high rainfall levels during the recent winter.

Creation of the wetland has enabled the National Trust to expand public access to what was a relatively remote, inaccessible area of countryside. A major new cross country cycleway with direct links to the major conurbation of Cambridge opened in autumn 2010. Part of the route runs along the Eastern boundary of the bund and has provided the perfect opportunity for the Trust to engage and educate visitors on the treats posed by climate change.

The installation of on-site interpretation, the publication of self guided walking and cycling leaflets and warden led activities have all been used to promote and raise awareness of visitors and local communities to the adverse effects of climate change and the important work being undertaken by our European partners to climate proof areas across Northern Europe.

More information?

Please contact:
Ruben Akkermans
Project Manager Climate Proof Areas

Tel: 0031 118 63 10 88