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Sounding Coastal Change (SCC) researchers have used arts and social science methods to engage environmental managers, decision makers and the public in climate change mitigation and adaptation, focusing on the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.



The research addresses issues concerning public understandings of contemporary environmental challenges and the different ways in which these understandings are imagined, debated and discussed.



SCC is a research and art-engagement project focused on environmental and social change in North Norfolk, using “sound, music and different kinds of listening, to explore the ways in which the coast is changing and how people’s lives are changing with it”.

The project aimed to give a presence in debate and deliberation to the sometimes hidden or forgotten human and non-human voices key to environmental decision making in the Anthropocene.



SCC provided advice and facilitation for Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s future strategy and public engagement to incorporate the research-based sonic arts methods in the delivery of their initiative Towards a Wilder Britain.

Norfolk County Council (NCC) also asked the SCC team to collaborate around public engagement relating to coastal environmental management projects. In 2018, SCC ran a stakeholder event for the NCC ENDURE project, a European based initiative which examines the role of coastal sand dune systems for climate change resilience.

This work led to subsequent collaborations with NCC and the Norfolk Coastal Partnership (NCP) to adopt SCC research into their practices. For example, SCC work with NCP to change their public engagement strategy for the quinquennial statutory planning document for the Norfolk Coast AONB.  

Insights from the research have formed three submissions of evidence to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Coastal Flooding and Climate Change 2019.

SCC has shaped cultural practice and created a regional legacy in Norfolk. For example work with four primary schools in Norfolk’s Pilgrim Federation provided students with new media and music skills through an interdisciplinary educational experience. A travelling exhibition was hosted at the Cley Marshes Visitor Centre, and ‘sonic postcards’ were commissioned for a new Coastal Futures public environmental forum in the region.  


More information

Institution: The Open University 

Researchers: Dr George Revill, Professor Joe Smith


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How to cite

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (2023) Sounding Coatal Change. Available at  Last accessed on: <date>