Research: Potential Locations

One of the last stages of consideration and research is to look for any potential location for future visits and shoots during my final major projects. For this, I have started with more local and accessible areas that might prove to be of significance when developing my ideas for my narrative. I looked at connections between rivers, wetlands,weirs, estuaries, reservoirs and so forth, to see how could relate them and how they might serve represent both sides of my story, of conservation or management.

From this, I was able to highlight a variety of areas that could be aesthetically and contextually appropriate for this project.

This includes: River Mersey – Mersey Estuary, New Years Bridge Reservoir, Wirral Peninsula, Manchester Ship Canal, Seaforth Dock. River Dee – Dee Estuary, Burton Mere Wetlands, River Alyn, Alwen Reservoir, Connah’s Quay.

I also found an article featured upon the Wildlife Trust website and refers to a recommended marine conservation zone, Aln Estuary in Alnmouth which is currently under threat and is one the of nearest marine focused sites to visit.

Aln Estuary Marine Conservation Zone

Status: protected


Plaice  (Credit Dereck Haslam)Plaice (Credit Dereck Haslam)

Estuaries provide doorways for many creatures, creating corridors that link rivers to the sea.

Providing important feeding grounds for migratory birds and nursery grounds for many marine fish, like plaice.

This site has been designated to protect the estuarine habitats found here including coastal sealtmarshs, saline reedbeds and restuarine rocky habitats.

Located on the Northumberland coast this is one of only two estuaries recommended within the North Sea. Estuaries provide a link between the land and sea and are home to unique communities of life making them of particular importance within the MCZ network.

The Aln has been recommended for a range of habitats including mud, sand, gravel, sheltered muddy gravel, estuarine rocky habitats, saltmarsh and saline reedbed. It is one of the few places within the North Sea supporting seagrass and has significant importance for feeding and roosting birds, including gulls, dunlins and other waders such as redshanks, curlews, snipe and wigeons. Estuaries are also important for juvenile fish. The Aln supports sprat, flounder, sandeel, plaice and European eel.

Location map

Contains UKHO Law of the Sea data.

I am also considered Morecambe Bay as a location for test shots as this would offer a local coastal reference with a history of industry that influences its water usage and pollution, it has reported to have wildlife sightings. Therefore this a potential to develop initial images.

I intend to develop this further prior to submission, however I feel I have established a good started point for initial photo experimentation.

At this stage, I believe it likely I will look towards areas in the North West that have a high demand for water supply or abstraction. Especially if this is the source of other my other considered location. Potentially there is a connection between cities/towns and more rural, natural areas, as this would offer varied aesthetics whilst maintaining narrative cohesion.


Research: The Rivers Trust – Blueprint For Water

Whilst developing research, I came across some new water organisations that offered some insight into water conservation and potential attributes to consider when highlighting subjects of interest within my photo story.

One in particular stood out for concentrated approach and ambition in discussing the importance of water to humanity and all other life forms and the threat of a water crisis through the pollution and abstraction of water in the UK, The Rivers Trust.

The “Association of River Trusts” for England and Wales was launched in 2001 following extensive consultation with existing charitable rivers trusts and other related interests.

The organisation changed it’s name to “The Rivers Trust” on 2nd August 2011

The need for such a body was a logical extension of the increasing level of liaison that had taken place for some time between established rivers trusts. As a result of the demands placed upon, ART was subsequently incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and granted registered charity status by the Charities Commission in 2004.

Rivers trusts now represent catchments across a large part of England and Wales and new ones are continually forming. In addition, a similar movement exists in Scotland, and there is excellent co-operation with the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS).

RT Principles, Aims and Objectives
The principles of RT are based on:

  • Consent
  • Subsidiarity – where RT will serve its members
  • Partnership
  • Education and technology transfer

The main aims of RT are, “to co-ordinate, represent and develop the aims and interests of the member Trusts in the promotion of sustainable, holistic and integrated catchment management and sound environmental practices, recognising the wider economic benefits for local communities and the value of education.”

Its objectives are to:

  • Represent and promote the Rivers Trust movement nationally and internationally
  • Develop best practice protocols, within a framework of sound science, partnership, avoiding duplication, consistency and a matrix approach
  • Encourage innovation and the advancement of applied science
  • Facilitate funding and working partnerships between Rivers Trusts and other organisations
  • Guide and assist rivers trusts in making funding applications, either individually or in partnership with others
  • Build capacity and sustainability in the rivers trust movement
  • Form national and international networks to provide collaborative project and development opportunities for rivers trusts
  • Guide and support new rivers trust start-ups
  • Act as a conduit for communication, information exchange and technology transfer through projects, seminars, the web-site and e-newsletters
  • Promote, guide and support good governance and issues of common interest to rivers trusts

The Rivers Trust also refers to the governments recent Water Framework Directive, which aims to restore the ecology of UK waters by 2015.

Blueprint for Water
Water is our most precious natural resource. It is vital to people’s health and happiness, vital for the environment and our wildlife, and vital to our economy.

Our water environment is in crisis. Providing enough clean, safe water is becoming ever more difficult and expensive, and climate change is increasing the challenge. Our rivers and lakes are under pressure from pollution and abstraction, while most of our wetlands have been lost to drainage.

It need not be this way. The Blueprint for Water offers an alternative. An alternative where we are less wasteful of our water; where we keep our rivers flowing, clean and healthy and our wetlands wet. Where the water we use is priced fairly and those who pollute it are made to pay; where our waste is properly treated and not washed straight into waterways.

The Government has made a commitment to meet the objectives of the Water Framework Directive, which says the ecology of our waters must be restored to health by 2015. This Blueprint sets out the steps needed to meet this target.

ART has been involved with Anglers Conservation Association, National Trust, RSPB, Salmon & Trout Association, Waterwise, Wildlife Trusts, WWF, and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in the preparation and, on 28 November 2006, the launch nationally of a manifesto for water under the title “Blueprint for Water” – 10 steps to sustainable water by 2015.

I also found reference to this upon the site of another relevant organisation, Wildlife and Countryside Link.

“Bringing voluntary organisations in the UK together to protect and enhance wildlife and landscape and to further the quiet enjoyment and appreciation of the countryside.”

Wildlife and Countryside Link began life as Wildlife Link in 1980. It was set up by Lord Peter Melchett, whose position in the House of Lords convinced him that better co-ordination was needed between voluntary organisations with similar core objectives.

Wildlife Link merged with Countryside Link in 1990, creating the organisation that we have today whose interests span the breadth of wildlife and countryside issues.

In July 2010, Link celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a parliamentary reception at the House of Lords, hosted by Link’s Vice President, Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer.

At this reception, Link re-launched a brand new version of our review document, Making the Link, with input from right across the Link membership and from our partners and funders including the Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon MP.

The publication follows how member organisations, their representatives and Link staff have helped run and develop Link, not as an organisation in its own right, but as a collective, and reflects some of its many achievements over three decades.


There is also a great of useful information featured within their latest report of this blueprint such as the discussion of ecology & hydrology, recent water and other recent policies & reforms as well a variety of associated organisations acting in the interest of water conservation and better management.

In November 2010, we, a coalition of leading
environmental organisations, launched the 2010
Blueprint for Water, setting out the ten steps to
sustainable water by 2015. The Blueprint called on
all stakeholders to act urgently in order to give our
water a future. Progress since 2010 has been mixed,
but 2013 offers a unique opportunity – and test – for
us to deliver on this agenda. This report assesses
how Government and other key delivery bodies have
fared against the targets we set in late 2010.

2012 was a year of extremes in water availability, with both
drought and floods occurring within a short timeframe and
almost simultaneously in some locations. Many of our
aquatic habitats and species were hit hard, with some rivers
dry to the bone, whilst elsewhere rare wader chicks
drowned in their nests. The public were quite rightly
confused; water wasn’t behaving as it ought. One minute
we were told we were in drought, the next overwhelmed by
rain. The Blueprint for Water coalition threw its weight
behind helping to understand and explain the complex
situation and apply the solutions we had already developed.
Perhaps this year wasn’t so unusual after all; simply a
demonstration of volatility to come. Whilst our infrastructure
did just about cope with drought, a third dry winter should
certainly drive the Government to consider faster or more
dramatic changes in policy than those currently on the
cards. Will we grasp the nettle and learn from this volatility?
We argue that, had the steps and targets highlighted within
the 2010 Blueprint for Water been fully implemented, we
would now be benefitting from secure ecosystems services,
a far more resilient water sector, and a landscape in which
our precious wildlife can safely ride out the drought and the
floods, even if they come in quick succession.
The Water White Paper of December 2011 had the potential to deliver
against many of our aspirations. We welcome much of what it
contained and are actively participating in many of its initiatives,
but – in part because many of the White Paper’s recommendations are
far from being implemented – still find our aspirations are at best
patchily addressed. In producing this scorecard we often struggled to
find evidence that matched the Government’s ambition with reality on
the ground. As a result, the scores we have awarded have fewer ‘E’
grades than our 2008 scorecard, but equally fewer ‘B’s. We urge the
Government to prioritise grassroots resilience through championing
individual behaviour change, and to set an ambitious legislative and
policy framework which propels us all in the right direction whilst we
still have time on our side.
Such action is the only way to ensure resilience and adaptation,
not only for the environment, but for the economy and our society

Water Bill
We welcome the commitment in the Water White Paper, Water for Life,
to address: unsustainable abstraction; diffuse pollution via catchment
management; and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). However, we
remain very concerned by the long timescales for delivery and lack of
ambition around actions to protect the wildlife and wetlands that are
suffering now. We are also concerned with the absence of a vision for
how these policy areas can benefit biodiversity ambitions as laid out in
Biodiversity 2020.
We urge the Government to revise the 2013 Water Bill so that it lays
the foundations for abstraction reform, and drive water efficiency and
metering, without which sustainable and affordable water is not
2014 Periodic Review of Water Pricing (PR14)
We have high hopes for the next round of Water Resources
Management and Business Plans. A number of the barriers
encountered in the 2009 periodic review have been swept away, and
many of the water companies are developing and delivering exciting
06projects which are raising expectations about what is possible.
PR14 provides a chance to address some significant and uncertain
challenges: climate change; changing water use; and population
growth. The scale of work in these areas needs to be significantly
scaled up. In helping to tackle these issues, the Blueprint coalition will
work with Ofwat, water companies and Government to help deliver
measures set out in the Blueprint for PR14. This comprehensive
document, produced by the Blueprint coalition, is designed to help
deliver sustainable water management, covering water use, water
quality and abstraction.
Water Framework Directive (WFD)
The WFD was supposed to signal the most radical reform of water
management in Europe, putting wildlife at the heart of a process that
secured the future health of this precious resource. Unfortunately, little
has changed on the ground, a fact reflected in the low level of ambition
in the current cycle of River Basin Management Planning (RBMP). We
hope to see more action and delivery in the next cycle, and we are
confident that we will if the right steps are taken.
In 2012, the Government announced its commitment to the delivery of
the WFD through a Catchment Approach and the launch of 10 local
plan pilots to bring together stakeholders from across catchments.
The Blueprint coalition strongly supports this approach as a way of
generating more action in the next round of RBMP. But to do this we
will need:
g greater community engagement through the local catchment plans
that drive RBMP;
g clear timetables whereby all water bodies can reach Good
Ecological Status/ Good Ecological Potential (regardless of barriers),
so costs and feasibility can be thoroughly tested;
g a more vigorous approach to tackling violations of baseline
legislation from all sectors;
g progress on reducing levels of pollutants and delivering the
“polluter pays” principle, particularly when voluntary action
is not enough;
g Cycle two RBMPs that really deal with water issues from
source to sea, including a strong link to the Marine Strategy
Framework Directive.
Effective implementation of the WFD should also inform new legislation,
for example through applying lessons learnt to the implementation of
the Marine Framework Strategy Directive.
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform
The major challenge remains to align agricultural subsidies with the
provision of environmental and public benefits, so farmers are
incentivised to, for example, prevent pollution, improve soils and restore
biodiversity. It is important that subsidies are at the very least
maintained at their current level, in order to provide the essential
ecosystem services they provide.
During 2013, the Blueprint coalition will again be describing the
ambition we think Government and others should be working towards,
to deliver a sustainable future for water and people.
Please get in touch to find out how we can work together.
The Blueprint secretariat can be contacted through Kate Hand,
on 020 7820 8600, or at



Some of these organisations were familiar, but others offered scope for further research and reference.

I will reflect upon these site in the nearby future as means of determining any significant examples. I will hopefully shape the direction of my narrative.

Research: John Kippin

Based upon feedback from my video project, I decided to look more specifically at the work of landscape photographer, John Kippin. This was cited in reference to defining my images more such as through the application of text or ‘punchy’ images to evoke a greater visual impact with photo stories following hard hitting subjects.

At this stage, I am unsure as to whether or not the application of text would prove to be a successful approach for the purpose of my final major project, however, I wanted this research to act as a starting point for the consideration of text and images together and the resulting influence this can have upon the audience.

John Kippin is an artist and photographer who lives and works in the north-east of England and who works largely within the broad context of landscape. Many of his works integrate texts and images in ways that challenge the realist paradigm that traditionally underpins a range of documentary and realist practices.

John Kippin’s work pays allegiance to the conventions and traditions of pictorial landscape whilst foregrounding issues within contemporary culture and politics. In addition to works made for the gallery, he has produced a number of public art-works and publications.

His work has been widely exhibited both in the United Kingdom and overseas and is in many collections. He has contributed to numerous conferences and symposia and is currently Professor in Photography at the University of Sunderland.

Work available to view on this site includes a range of exhibited, published and commissioned work from 1987.

For the purposes of this post, I decided to focus upon particular archives of his work that I found to be both aesthetically and conceptually compelling in their approach and use of text. With this, I have also consider examples that prove to be more relevant to the topic I am currently exploring for this module.




Blue Streak 2

Compton Verney 6

Compton Verney 7


Shipwreck Orkney

Authentic Reproduction

Surveillance Anglers

Moonrise over Teeside




Each of the examples I have highlighted offer their own story and purpose within their narratives, often bold in their aesthetic approach. I found that this was especially the case with futureland which felt the most relevant in regards to my own intentions for this project. The inclusion of text was not always necessary but often aimed to set the tone and overall theme for the rest of the sequence.

I found Kippin work to be very appealing and certainly ‘punchy’ in its impact upon me. I found the simplicity of the text itself to be quite appealing in that it offer one or two key words to generate its intentions, enough being left unsaid to allow the viewer to determine what that might mean in the relation to the image and following images.

Overall, I would certain consider this technique for future experimentation.

Feedback Session 2- Group C (AM)

For this feedback session, I presented my current research proposal and well as discussing some of the research and wetland images I have undertaken as a part of my new theme, freshwater.

I received a strong positive response for my working title and overall concept, it was discussed how this could evolve from a national to an international scale project in the future. My images were generally acknowledged as aesthetically pleasing but not quite specific enough to the concept I intended to develop.

I was asked to refine my approach further and look towards wider issues outside of natural history and in the context of human influences in management, conservation and ecology from which to draw comparisons.

I was asked to perhaps start looking towards environmental matters through organisations such as the environmental agency, water boards, consider relevant projects or water energy sources, or perhaps speaking with my partner or to find textbooks & references about freshwater biology/ecology to gain a greater understanding natural and human governed influences on water sources.

It was recommended that I look further at the format of existing environmental/documentary photo stories to gain a feel for the aesthetics and flow of the narrative. This would allow me to generate ideas of how I might approach this visually.

Overall, I felt that I had a good starting point from which to develop upon, I was pleased that my concept was reaffirmed as relevant and diverse, it just needed to be expanded and refined further.

I will reflect upon this and update.

Research: Relevant Environmental Organisations/Potential Markets

At this stage, I decided to overview examples previous research as well undertaking new research of relevant organisations and potential markets or audiences to consider as a part of my final major project.

General Organisations:

Environmental Agency

The Environment Agency was established to protect and improve the environment and to contribute to sustainable development.

We work to create better places for people and wildlife. We do this by implementing the policies of UK government departments.


We’re responsible for:

  • regulation of major industry
  • flood and coastal risk management
  • water quality and resources
  • waste regulation
  • climate change
  • fisheries
  • contaminated land
  • conservation and ecology
  • navigation

Emergencies and incidents

We’re not an emergency service, but as a Category One responder under the Civil Contingencies Act we play an important role in preparing for and supporting the response to emergencies in England. We have staff on standby to respond to incidents 24 hours a day.

You can read more about the type of incidents that we deal with and how to report an environmental incident.


Our priorities are to:

  • act to reduce climate change and its consequences
  • protect and improve water, land and air by tackling pollution
  • work with people and communities to create better places
  • work with businesses and other organisations to use resources wisely
  • be the best we can

Who we are

We’re responsible to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). We have around 11,400 employees.

Our Head Office is in Bristol, with a further office at Ergon House in London. We’re divided into six regions – South East, South West, Midlands, Anglian, North West and Yorkshire and North East. The regions support and co-ordinate the activities of area offices across England.

National Trust

As a charity, we rely for income on membership fees, donations and legacies, and revenue raised from our commercial operations.

We are a charity and completely independent of Government. We rely for income on membership fees, donations and legacies, and revenue raised from our commercial operations.

We have over 3.7 million members and 61,000 volunteers. More than 17 million people visit our pay for entry properties, while an estimated 50 million visit our open air properties.

We protect and open to the public over 350 historic houses, gardens and ancient monuments.

But it doesn’t stop there. We also look after forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, downs, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, castles, nature reserves, villages – for ever, for everyone.

The Wildlife Trusts

What we believe

We want to inspire people about the natural world so that they value it, understand their relationship with it and take action to protect and restore it.

The Wildlife Trusts want to help nature to recover from the decline that for decades has been the staple diet of scientific studies and news stories.  We believe passionately that wildlife and natural processes need to have space to thrive, beyond designated nature reserves and other protected sites.  To achieve this it is vital that the richest wildlife sites are protected and sustained as a starting point from which nature can spread back into our wider landscapes.  And at sea we must also protect areas now for a future when our marine wildlife can thrive more widely.

Society needs this as much as our wildlife does. A healthy natural environment is the foundation for everything that is of value to people – food, water, shelter, flood prevention, health, happiness and creative inspiration.  It’s the source of our prosperity and our wellbeing. We want to inspire people about the natural world so that they value it, understand their relationship with it and take action to protect and restore it

What we do

We stand up for, and look after, natural and wild places close to where people live.

We manage more than 95,000ha of land, across about 2,300 individual locations, each shaped by its location and its relationship with the local people who value it.

Every year, more than 7 million people visit our nature reserves, but we’re not just about land management. Every day we are working to help people from all walks of life discover and enjoy nature.  We run over 11,000 events a year, helping more than 380,000 people connect with nature in their local patch.  We work with about 5,200 schools and welcome people to more than 120 visitor centres.  Through our work, we advise more than 5,300 landowners on how to manage over 200,000ha of land for wildlife.

We are motivated by a personal emotional connection to the natural world.  The 650 trustees, 40,000 volunteers, 800,000 members and 2,000+ staff of Wildlife Trusts across the UK value the natural world – and particularly its wildlife – and we believe there should be more of it.

Who we are

There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK and the Isle of Man and Alderney.  Together, The Wildlife Trusts are the UK’s largest people-powered environmental organisation working for nature’s recovery on land and at sea.

Each Wildlife Trust is an independent charity is deeply-rooted within the local communities from which it was formed – most had been established by the end of the 1960s (usually, but not always, at a county-wide level), often set up by local activists determined to save what they could – the last remaining meadows, ancient woods, heaths – in the face of widespread devastation to our natural environment.

Your local Wildlife Trust 

Our structure

Our strength lies in our localness and our knowledge of local places and people.  Our work comes out of, and is accountable to, the local communities we are part of.  However, our additional strength lies in the fact that all 47 Trusts are able to come together to champion nature to national audiences. Each Trust is a corporate member of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT, registered charity number 207238), a charity founded in 1912 by banker and philanthropist Charles Rothschild.  This federated structure is adopted widely in the social, or people-focused, charity sector where a national voice and local needs are equally important.  This structure suits our personality down to the ground. We are people-focussed in the way we deliver our work – working with local people to improve our local environment and quality of life.
As the umbrella organisation, RSWT is a relatively small central coordinating team for The Wildlife Trust movement that provides leadership for the strategic development and ensuring that the interests of The Wildlife Trusts are represented on all occasions when a strong collective voice is required.  It has responsibilities for collective work at an England level and for orchestrating our collective work at a UK level.  It also has a role to play in ensuring our federated structure is as effective and efficient as possible, driving the sharing of resources, skills and knowledge, as well as raising funds from national sources that can be distributed back to the individual Trusts for conservation work.

How we are funded

The Wildlife Trusts are very grateful for support from members and legators. This support accounts for the majority of our income and is vital to our efforts to secure nature’s recovery.

Grants for particular projects are received from local authorities, statutory agencies and governments through rural development programmes.  Landfill Tax Credits have also provided vital support for land purchase and community engagement.  The support of key lottery operators and distributors, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the BIG Lottery Fund and People’s Postcode Lottery is greatly appreciated as is that from a wide range of charitable Trusts.

The Wildlife Trusts enjoy many partnerships and relationships with businesses right across the UK. Each Trust pays RSWT a small annual Contribution meaning that The Wildlife Trusts UK office is run on around 2% of the organisation’s overall income. Just as Trusts are keen to reflect their true local ownership and be accountable to their local members, it is equally important that the central charity (RSWT) is fully owned and working directly for the 47 Trusts.  In 2012 governance changes took place and RSWT’s Council is now comprised entirely of Wildlife Trust Chairs and Chief Executives This is replicated in other federated charity structures, and is thought to be the most effective method of working, binding a movement like ours closer together.

Natural England

Natural England is an Executive Non-departmental Public Body responsible to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Our purpose is to protect and improve England’s natural environment and encourage people to enjoy and get involved in their surroundings.

A healthy natural environment

Our broad remit means that our reach extends across the country. We work with people such as farmers, town and country planners, researchers and scientists, and the general public on a range of schemes and initiatives.

Put simply, our aim is to create a better natural environment that covers all of our urban, country and coastal landscapes, along with all of the animals, plants and other organisms that live with us.

Why is looking after the natural environment important?

The condition of our natural environment is vital: every living thing needs water, fresh air and food – which can only come from a healthy natural environment. Research has also shown that people are affected by their surroundings – so the better our natural environment is the better people feel.

Rural Economy and Land Use

Rural Economy and Land Use Programme

Harnessing the sciences for sustainable rural development

Rural areas in the UK are experiencing a period of considerable change. The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme aimed to advance understanding of the challenges caused by this change today and in the future. Interdisciplinary research was funded between 2004 and 2013 in order to inform policy and practice with choices on how to manage the countryside and rural economies.

The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme enabled researchers to work together to investigate the social, economic, environmental and technological challenges faced by rural areas. It was an unprecedented collaboration between the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). It had a budget of £24 million, with additional funding provided by the Scottish Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

UK Conservation

The UK’s natural environment and its biodiversity provides a vital and valuable role in supporting the basic natural services we all depend on, such as food, fresh water and clean air.  For example, bees pollinate our crops and the crops in turn provide us with food.  Nature conservation aims to maintain and enrich our biodiversity, and to sustain these natural services.

Nature conservation in the UK is driven by a wide range of policies, legislation and agreements, all delivered by a range of bodies, from the statutory, voluntary, academic and business sectors, which work together to conserve the environment and its biodiversity.  In 1994, the UK became the first country to produce a national biodiversity action plan (the UK BAP), as part of its commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  Since then, devolution has led the four countries of the UK – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – to produce their own biodiversity conservation strategies.

JNCC plays an important role in helping to co-ordinate conservation action and research at a UK level.  Additionally, in July 2012, JNCC and Defra, on behalf of the Four Countries’ Biodiversity Group, published the ‘UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework’, which aimed to set out the common purpose and shared priorities of the four countries and the UK.  This important document has been endorsed by the environment ministers from all four countries.

Beyond the UK Biodiversity Framework, JNCC’s involvement in nature conservation at a UK level ranges from the publication of annual updates of the UK Biodiversity Indicators suite (last update May 2012), to work which assists in the protection of rare and threatened UK habitats and species, the designation of protected sites and the support of UK legislation.

UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework

Together with Defra, JNCC published the ‘UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework’ on 17 July 2012, on behalf of the Four Countries’ Biodiversity Group, which includes representatives from each of the devolved administrations.

The biodiversity framework has been developed in response to two major drivers: the publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD’s) Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its five strategic goals and 20 ‘Aichi targets’, following the CBD meeting held in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010; and the launch of the new EU Biodiversity Strategy (EUBS) in May 2011.

The framework is designed to show how the work of the four UK countries joins up with work at a UK level to achieve the ‘Aichi targets’ and the aims of the EU Biodiversity Strategy.  It highlights where work in the country biodiversity strategies contributes to international obligations, and the activities required at a UK level to complement these strategies.  The development of the framework reflects a revised direction for nature conservation, towards an approach which aims to consider the management of the environment as a whole, and to acknowledge and take into account the value of nature in decision-making.

For more information about the ‘UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework’>>>

UK Biodiversity Indicators

Indicators summarise complex data into more simple, standardised and communicable figures.  Within the UK, lots of information about biodiversity is collected, across a wide range of species and habitats, and a suite of biodiversity indicators is used to communicate this information to a range of audiences, including the general public, policy makers and government officials.

A set of biodiversity indicators for the UK was first published in June 2007, and has been published annually ever since – most recently on 29 May 2012.  The indicators show changes in various aspects of biodiversity, such as the population size of important species or the area of land managed for wildlife.

The UK Biodiversity Indicators have been developed with input from government, statutory agencies, non-governmental organisations and academic institutes.  The publication of the indicators is compiled on behalf of the Biodiversity Indicators Steering Group by JNCC and Defra, and is overseen by government statisticians.

For more information about the UK Biodiversity Indicators>>>

UK Habitats and Species

The UK has a wealth of habitats and species, some of which are of worldwide importance.  JNCC supports habitat and species conservation through advice, and the development of surveillance and monitoring initiatives in the wider countryside.  Through surveillance and monitoring, the status and trends of species and habitats, and the pressures that affect them, can be recorded.  The information gathered can be used to help identify problems, target conservation action where it is most needed, and to measure the success of conservation effort.

For more information about UK habitats and species>>>

UK Protected sites

The UK has many different types of protected area, from those established for nature conservation only, to those which serve a range of purposes such as National Parks.  Assisting in the designation of protected areas in the UK is an important part of the delivery of JNCC’s requirement to conserve and enhance habitats, earth science features and species.  JNCC acts on behalf of the statutory conservation agencies and associated government departments by collecting information on designated sites for nature conservation in the UK, and also assists in the interpretation of criteria for site selection and in developing guidelines to aid the process.

For more information about UK protected sites>>>

UK Legislation

Laws and regulations to conserve biodiversity or to regulate how it is used have their origins at global, European Union, national and sub-national level.  At a UK level, nature conservation policy is a devolved function, and there is some divergence in approaches to legislation between the four countries.

The major legislation relating to nature conservation in Great Britain is the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).  As part of the act, JNCC co-ordinates a statutory five-yearly review of Schedules 5 and 8 (protected wild animals and plants respectively).

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

We work on these topics

  1. Rural and countryside

    The interests of rural communities in the UK must be properly represented. Through investing in the rural economy, improving access to the countryside, coast and inland waterways, we will secure the future of these areas and their communities. Read more

  2. Food and farming

    Britain needs to ensure a sustainable supply of food for the UK market and export. Supporting and developing British farming, and encouraging sustainable food production (including fisheries) will ensure a secure, environmentally sustainable and healthy supply of food with improved standards of animal welfare. Read more

  3. Environment

    The government is working to protect our environment by reducing pollution, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, protecting areas of parkland, wildlife reserves and marine biodiversity, and enforcing regulations that keep our water and air clean. We also help communities avoid or recover from flooding and other weather-related hazards. Read more

  4. Wildlife and animal welfare

    The government offers advice and guidance to pet owners and also enforces legislation to protect pets against cruelty. The UK has a diverse and unique range of wildlife, but over-exploitation (such as over-fishing), habitat loss, climate change and the impact of non-native species all pose a threat. Read more

Eco Health Alliance

EcoHealth Alliance is an international organization of scientists dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity. For more than 40 years, EcoHealth Alliance has focused its efforts on conservation. Today, we are known for our innovative research on the intricate relationships between wildlife, ecosystems and human health.

EcoHealth Alliance’s work spans the U.S. and more than 20 countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia to research ways for people and wildlife to share bioscapes for their mutual survival. Our strength is built on our innovations in research, education and training and our accessibility to international conservation partners.

Internationally, our programs support conservationists in over a dozen countries at the local level to save endangered species and their habitats and to protect delicate ecosystems for the benefit of wildlife and humans.

UK National Ecosystem Assessment

The need for the UK NEA arose from findings of the 2005 global Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), which not only demonstrated the importance of ecosystem services to human well-being, but also showed that at global scales, many key services are being degraded and lost. As a result, in 2007 the House of Commons Environmental Audit recommended that the Government should conduct a full MA-type assessment for the UK to enable the identification and development of effective policy responses to ecosystem service degradation (House of Commons Environmental Audit, 2007).

The UK NEA will help people to make better decisions that impact on the UK’s ecosystems to ensure the long-term sustainable delivery of ecosystem services for the benefit of current and future populations in the UK, thereby addressing the needs set out in Defra’s current Action Plan for Embedding an Ecosystems Approach (2007).

The UK NEA will also support global and regional obligations such as the Convention on Biological Diversity’s call on countries to conduct such assessments and the European Union Water Framework Directive, which encourages the management of ecosystem services.

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Our work is driven by a passionate belief that we all have a responsibility to protect birds and the environment. Bird populations reflect the health of the planet on which our future depends.

The need for an effective bird conservation organisation has never been greater. Climate change, agricultural intensification, expansion of urban areas and transport infrastructure, and over-exploitation of our seas all pose major threats to birds.

The RSPB could not exist without its supporters and members. Whether you join us, give a donation, purchase items from us or undertake voluntary work, your support is vital to the future of birds and the places where they live.

Facts and figures

  • Over a million members, including over 195,000 youth members.
  • A staff of over 1,300 people and almost 18,000 volunteers.
  • Resources available for charitable purposes in 2010 was £94.7 million.
  • 200 nature reserves covering almost 130,000 hectares, home to 80% of our rarest or most threatened bird species.
  • A UK headquarters, three national offices and nine regional offices.
  • A local network of 175 local groups and more than 110 youth groups.
  • At least 9 volunteers for every paid member of staff.

British Geological Survey

Founded in 1835, the British Geological Survey (BGS) is the world’s oldest national geological survey and the United Kingdom’s premier centre for earth science information and expertise.

As a public sector organisation BGS is responsible for advising the UK government on all aspects of geoscience as well as providing impartial geological advice to industry, academia and the public.

The BGS is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), which is the UK’s main agency for funding and managing research, training, and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. The NERC reports to the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

We also undertake an extensive programme of overseas research, surveying and monitoring, including major institutional strengthening programmes in the developing world.

Our annual turnover is in the region of £45m, about 50 per cent of which comes from NERC’s Science Budget, with the remainder coming from commissioned research from the public and private sectors. Further details may be found in our Annual Report.

Our headquarters are at Keyworth, near Nottingham, and we have a regional offices at Edinburgh, Wallingford, London and Cardiff. The BGS also has a presence in Belfast through the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland. BGS offices and departments

Wildlife and Countryside Link

Bringing voluntary organisations in the UK together to protect and enhance wildlife and landscape and to further the quiet enjoyment and appreciation of the countryside.”

Wildlife and Countryside Link began life as Wildlife Link in 1980. It was set up by Lord Peter Melchett, whose position in the House of Lords convinced him that better co-ordination was needed between voluntary organisations with similar core objectives.

Wildlife Link merged with Countryside Link in 1990, creating the organisation that we have today whose interests span the breadth of wildlife and countryside issues.

In July 2010, Link celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a parliamentary reception at the House of Lords, hosted by Link’s Vice President, Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer.

At this reception, Link re-launched a brand new version of our review document, Making the Link, with input from right across the Link membership and from our partners and funders including the Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon MP.

The publication follows how member organisations, their representatives and Link staff have helped run and develop Link, not as an organisation in its own right, but as a collective, and reflects some of its many achievements over three decades.

Water Conservation/Management Specific:

Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Who we are

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is one of the world’s largest and most respected wetland conservation organisations working globally to safeguard and improve wetlands for wildlife and people.

Founded in the UK in 1946 by the late Sir Peter Scott, today we complement wetland conservation work carried out worldwide with a network of UK visitor centres comprising 2,600 hectares of globally important wetland habitat.

All of our work is supported by a much valued membership base of over 200,000 people.

Our purpose

  • to raise awareness of the value of wetlands to life on Earth.
  • to identify and counter threats to the survival of wetlands and their wildlife.
  • to inspire people to explore and value wetlands, and support wetland conservation.

Our founder

When Sir Peter Scott founded the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in 1946, his ideas were unique.

He was the first to recognise the wisdom of the combined approach of taking action to save wetlands and their wildlife, while encouraging the public to care about the natural world.

He also pioneered the notion that conservation education should be uplifting and fun for people of all ages – that wetlands are places to enjoy as well as to respect.

Sir Peter’s principles remain at the core of WWT’s work and are central to our future plans.

The Rivers Trust

The “Association of River Trusts” for England and Wales was launched in 2001 following extensive consultation with existing charitable rivers trusts and other related interests.

The organisation changed it’s name to “The Rivers Trust” on 2nd August 2011

The need for such a body was a logical extension of the increasing level of liaison that had taken place for some time between established rivers trusts. As a result of the demands placed upon, ART was subsequently incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and granted registered charity status by the Charities Commission in 2004.

Rivers trusts now represent catchments across a large part of England and Wales and new ones are continually forming. In addition, a similar movement exists in Scotland, and there is excellent co-operation with the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS).

RT Principles, Aims and Objectives
The principles of RT are based on:

  • Consent
  • Subsidiarity – where RT will serve its members
  • Partnership
  • Education and technology transfer

The main aims of RT are, “to co-ordinate, represent and develop the aims and interests of the member Trusts in the promotion of sustainable, holistic and integrated catchment management and sound environmental practices, recognising the wider economic benefits for local communities and the value of education.”

Its objectives are to:

  • Represent and promote the Rivers Trust movement nationally and internationally
  • Develop best practice protocols, within a framework of sound science, partnership, avoiding duplication, consistency and a matrix approach
  • Encourage innovation and the advancement of applied science
  • Facilitate funding and working partnerships between Rivers Trusts and other organisations
  • Guide and assist rivers trusts in making funding applications, either individually or in partnership with others
  • Build capacity and sustainability in the rivers trust movement
  • Form national and international networks to provide collaborative project and development opportunities for rivers trusts
  • Guide and support new rivers trust start-ups
  • Act as a conduit for communication, information exchange and technology transfer through projects, seminars, the web-site and e-newsletters
  • Promote, guide and support good governance and issues of common interest to rivers trusts

RT Seminars & Workshops
Since 2002, RT has run biannual national Seminars and Field Visits in the regions, based on applying best practice and science. These have attracted a wide range of organisations with interests in the sector, as well as existing and emerging rivers and fisheries trusts. The mix of delegates has been particularly satisfying, because it provides a great opportunity for communication, discussion and understanding between the various agencies and others, in a non-confrontational and non-political setting.

Annual Awards
RT believes that there has been some outstanding and innovative work undertaken by many people and organisations involved with rivers and their catchments. As a result, since 2004 it has promoted a prestigious Annual Awards Dinner, “in recognition of excellence and achievement”, to reward contribution to the growing rivers trusts movement and provide funds for related charitable projects.

RT Funding
RT has been fortunate to receive support and assistance from a number of areas to date including the Dulverton Trust, Environment Agency, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Fishmongers’ Company, WWF in partnership with HSBC, Mazars Charitable Trust, Atlantic Salmon Trust, Salmon & Trout Association, Water UK and membership subscriptions. It also successfully bid for EU Interreg IIIC funds under the Union des Terres de Rivieres project, which is a European networking project involving 24 partners in 10 EU countries as well as current projects under Interreg IVC and IVB, Defra funding and ECSDI. See project pages for more details.

RT’s Future
The Rivers Trust movement is a bottom up grassroots development, initiated by a number of different community groups from around the country working independently to form Trusts. The formation of RT is simply a natural response to mature trusts wishing to share information and work more closely together to help others and provide synergy.

There is an increasing awareness of the importance of rivers for wildlife and of managing catchments and their ecosystems as environmental and ecological service providers. RT provides an opportunity to assist, influence and develop this in a positive way. Improving the river corridor and surrounding catchment is a complex process involving Government Departments, its Agencies and many other diverse organisations.

It is clear that there is a need for a voice to act at a national level to complement regional initiatives and to provide a focus for issues of common interest, such as technical protocols and governance. In addition, RT is dedicated to providing guidance to new and emerging trusts on setting up, pulling together and making the best use of the experience of others, and making the best use of limited resources. RT is committed to building capacity in member trusts, thus maintaining its “bottom-up” philosophy, and seeing a growing and vibrant network of “individually motivated” local/regional trusts across the whole of England & Wales, not just in the traditional salmonid areas.

The Rivers Trust provides an important link between the established, and the new and emerging Rivers and Fisheries Trusts. It also provides a forum to develop ideas, Best Practice and policy guidance and test transferability. Furthermore it offers a national platform for regional Trusts to “showcase” their work, allowing them to inform and give enthusiasm to others, giving advice and encouragement and ultimately, empowerment, “thinking globally and acting locally”.

Equally important is for RT to be outward looking in order to learn from the experience and culture of others, particularly in mainland Europe and USA and provide a gateway for future EU and international funding for the direct or indirect benefit of all our rivers trusts.

For further information please contact:
Arlin Rickard (Chief Executive) Email:
Alistair Maltby (Director – North) Email:
Alan Hawken (Secretary) Email:

Canal & River Trust

In an increasingly fast-paced and crowded world, the Canal & River Trust’s historic canals and rivers provide a local haven for people and nature. We’re the new charity entrusted with the care of 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales.

Swans at Mercia Marina
Swans at Mercia Marina by Darren Amphlett

Why is the Canal & River Trust needed?

Just a few steps away from our everyday lives, waterways give us a much-needed space where we can escape. Next to our canals and rivers we can relax and reconnect with ourselves, our environment and the people who matter to us. Our waterway network is a national treasure and the Canal & River Trust is here to ensure that it is protected forever.

Our mission is to inspire as many people as possible to connect with our canals and rivers and we will do this by:

  • Being passionate about what we do
  • Encouraging those with an interest in our work to become part of it
  • Reaching out to those who have yet to discover this national treasure
  • Ensuring our financial security by attracting sustainable income

Shaping our future

We believe that the true potential of our canals and rivers and their long-term survival will only be secured if we fully engage with our visitors, neighbours and business partners. By harnessing their goodwill, energy and expertise, we can widen the enjoyment of our waterways today while protecting them for future generations.

Our trustees believe we can unlock our waterways’ potential using the following six strategies:

  • Ensuring our canals and rivers are open, accessible and safe
  • Inspiring more people to enjoy the canals and rivers and support our work
  • Earning financial security for our canals and rivers
  • Doing everything we can to deliver on our charitable objectives
  • Minimising the impact we make on scarce resources
  • Establishing the Trust as a respected and trusted guardian of our canals and rivers

Our work

The canals and rivers that we look after offer you an authentic, unfenced, ‘no turnstiles’ opportunity to interact with history, wildlife and nature first-hand. It’s a very big job looking after them.

On top of maintaining 2,000 miles of canals and rivers, which are often over 200 years old, we are responsible for an enormous network of bridges, embankments, towpaths, aqueducts, docks and reservoirs alongside everything else that makes up our wonderful waterways. This takes a huge amount of effort behind the scenes.

From improving towpaths for cyclists and walkers, encouraging biodiversity by installing bat boxes and insect piles to maintaining our locks, bridges and aqueducts, we are constantly working to make our canals and rivers the best they can be, but we can’t do it without your support.

How to get involved

We would love many more people to become involved with the valuable work of the Trust. There are loads of opportunities across England and Wales on our volunteering pages.

There are also ways to help out financially. From supporting an appeal, to taking part in sponsored events, to becoming a Friend, please look at our fundraising pages and discover more about the different ways you can support the Trust.

Case studies

Here are a few examples of how we make the canals and rivers in our care such inspiring places to visit.

Lune Aqueduct, Lancaster CanalOver the past few years the Lune Aqueduct has been at the centre of a £2 million restoration project.

Find out how we’re protecting this magnifient heritage structure and improving the area for both people and nature.

Enhancing the Lune Aqueduct

At the Canal & River trust we’re experts at creating biodiverse habitats for wildlife to thrive.

Find out how the Trust has been working to encourage reed warblers to set up home next to our canals.

Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

Working for the public benefit for a clean, green and sustainable world, CIWEM (The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) is the only independent, chartered professional body and registered charity with an integrated approach to environmental, social and cultural issues.

  • Supports thousands of members worldwide
  • Powerful evidence-based lobbying force within the UK and abroad
  • Provides training and professional development opportunities
  • Provides a forum for debate through conferences, events and publications
  • Works with governments, international organisations, NGOs, creative organisations and faith groups for a holistic approach to environmental issues
  • Develops partnerships with like minded organisations across the world
  • Supplies independent advice to governments, academics, the media and the general public
  • Brings members from all over the world together under common policy issues
  • Directly inputs into European and UN policy developments
  • Promotes excellence in environmental management through an awards portfolio
  • The first chartered professional body to have its Environmental Management System (EMS) accredited to ISO14001 standard, demonstrating our commitment to continuous improvement


CIWEM (Registered Charity no. 1043409 (England & Wales) and SC038212 (Scotland)) has a history of working in environmental management dating back to 1895. In the succeeding decades, engineers, scientists and other professionals came together to combine their expertise across a broad range of environmental disciplines. The present day Institution was formed in 1987 when the Institution of Public Health Engineers merged with the Institution of Water Engineers and Scientists and the Institute of Water Pollution Control to form the Institution of Water and Environmental Management.The Institution was granted a Royal Charter in 1995 and was proud to celebrate its centenary in the same year.

Aims and Objectives

CIWEM’s aims and objectives are enshrined in our Royal Charter and are as follows:

(a) To advance the science and practice of water and environmental management for the public benefit.
(b) To promote education, training, study and research in the said science and practice for the public benefit and to publish the useful results of such research.
(c) To establish and maintain for the public benefit appropriate standards of competence and conduct on the part of members of the Institution.

where ‘water and environmental management’ means the application of engineering, scientific or management knowledge and expertise to the provision of works and services designed to further the beneficial management, conservation and improvement of the environment, in particular in relation to:

(a) environmental management systems;
(b) resource protection, development, use and conservation;
(c) integrated pollution control;
(d) public health, water and sanitation services;
(e) flood defence and land drainage; and associated recreation, amenity and conservation activities

CIWEM’s Vision

As the leading professional body CIWEM sustains the excellence of the people who develop and protect our environment now and for future generations.

CIWEM’s Mission

The Institution’s Mission is to achieve substantial progress towards securing our Vision over the next five years. Each facet of our Vision will be secured through a broad range of activities and performance targets.
a) We will support all governments, agencies, industries and the wider community with the review and development of environmental policy and the goal of sustainable development.

b) We will develop and maintain educational, professional and continuing development standards consistent with the high qualities needed to achieve customer service and sustainable goals.

c) We will provide the opportunity for our members, employers and other stakeholders to demonstrate the quality of their endeavours.

d) Through Policy Position Statements, Information Sheets, publications, a magazine and journal, conference, events and meetings we will disseminate information and best practice essential to effective environmental management practice and stewardship.

e) We will always seek to provide high quality services to support our members, their employers and the communities they serve wherever in the world they are.

f) We will consult widely and act sensitively, encouraging others to join with us and so strengthen and sharpen the focus on the sustainable management of the global environment.

g) We will be an open organisation fostering the widest possible interest in, and understanding of environmental matters. In particular we will:

  • demonstrate leadership in environmental affairs;
  • seek to influence the national and international environmental agenda;
  • be of service to the wider environmental community;
  • develop our brand and corporate identity;
  • be more customer focussed and relevant to all stakeholders;
  • seek to achieve growth in membership from a wider environmental constituency;
  • be welcoming and attractive to existing and potential members;
  • seek to generate more income to support additional and better services;
  • use modern business techniques in the governance of the Institution and sustain a strong asset base;
  • establish and adhere to an Environmental Policy;
  • establish and adhere to an International Policy.

h) We will always seek to consult with members and represent their best interests.

Environmental Management System

CIWEM is running an environmental management system (EMS) to ensure that the environmental impacts of the Institution’s activities are minimised, and that the positive contributions CIWEM makes to environmental management are maximised.  CIWEM’s EMS will be developed over time to eventually cover all aspects of the Institution’s activities.

CIWEM’s Environmental Manual (including CIWEM’s Environmental Policy) sets out how the EMS operates, see page documents.

CIWEM currently measures its performance against a set of Key Performance Indicators.  The latest version of the report is available in page documents.

The River Restoration Centre

A national information and advisory centre on all aspects of river restoration and enhancement, and sustainable river management

The River Restoration Centre (RRC) exists to promote, facilitate and support best practice in river, watercourse and floodplain management across the UK. It aims to provide a focal point for the exchange and dissemination of information and expertise relating to river restoration and enhancement. The Centre also provides advice on site-specific technical issues through a network of experienced river restoration practitioners.

The RRC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation formed in 1994 by members drawn from the UK public, private and NGO sectors. The RRC is not a project design or management consultancy and it does not bid or competitively tender for on-site work against commercial consultants or contractors.

The RRC’s Business Plan sets out a high-level framework to guide the delivery of services and the RRC programme of work over the five-year period from 2010 to 2015. The RRC programme is set out around three core areas of activity:

  • Knowledge exchange – on river restoration and management activities;
  • Case specific advice and assessment – of river projects and the ongoing management of rivers;
  • Guidance and mentoring – to inform best practice river management and restoration.

Water UK

Water UK represents all major UK water and wastewater service suppliers at national and European level. We provide a positive framework for the water industry to engage with government, regulators, stakeholder organisations and the public.


water saving water efficiency waterwise water energy conservation Image by Fernando

The key to water efficiency is reducing waste, not restricting use

Who are we?

Waterwise was founded in 2005 and has become the leading authority on water efficiency in the UK and Europe. We are an independent, not for profit organisation, that receives funding from the UK water industry, sponsorship and research projects.

We like to be at the front, leading and supporting innovative efforts to realise our mission; that water will be used wisely, every day, everywhere!

What do we do?

We focus specifically on water efficiency which means we engage with promoting water efficiency at all levels; from corporate boardrooms, community meetings to government offices.

– See more at:


Our job is to make sure that your water company provides you with a good quality service at a fair price.

We do this by:

  • keeping bills for consumers as low as possible
  • monitoring and comparing the services the companies provide
  • scrutinising the companies’ costs and investment
  • encouraging competition where this benefits consumers

If a company falls short of what we or customers expect we take the action necessary to protect consumers’ interests, which may include legal steps such as enforcement action and fines.

As the economic regulator of the water industry in England and Wales we work closely with a wide range of other stakeholders. These include the water quality regulators (the Environment Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate) and the Consumer Council for Water.

Consumer Council For Water

The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) Operational Business Plan outlines how we
will deliver our Forward Work Programme during 2012/13. It also sets out what benefits
we will deliver for consumers during the next year, and how our success should be

Our priority continues to be ensuring that domestic and business consumers get a good,
reliable water and sewerage service from their local water company at a price they find
acceptable and can afford and that any issues and concerns water consumers have are
addressed. We will work with business customers so their needs are understood and
represented on the day to day issues that concern them, and as the proposed water
market reform develops in England.

Based on what water consumers tell us, we will continue to focus on: value for money;
sustainable, safe and good quality tap water; successful delivery of a sewerage system
that works; water companies getting their service right first time; and speaking up for
both business and domestic consumers.

CCWater will change the way it operates during 2012 by adopting a more risk-based
approach. We will focus on issues that bring most benefit to customers. We will only
challenge where we have concerns on behalf of customers.

Our past successes for consumers are sizeable and give us a strong base on which to build
as we move forward in a changing environment. We have directly helped over 94,000
people since we were set up and have secured them more than £13.7 million in
compensation, reduced bills and rebates from water companies. This is on top of the
£135m of additional benefits we have persuaded water companies to give back to
customers, and the contribution we made to the £1bn improvement in price setting in
2009 compared with the last price review in 2004.

Catchment Change Management Hub

The CCM Hub is a place where people who are interested in the wellbeing of their local river/s and wider water environment can share understanding and make links across river catchments. It points you in the direction of measures, legislation and practical tools to help improve the quality of all water bodies including ground water, rivers, lakes, estuaries, wetlands and coastal water for the benefit of local people and wildlife.

Our aim for the Hub is to provide a repository and guide to knowledge for planning catchment restoration and mitigation measures to achieve good ecological status in rivers and other water bodies for the benefit of local catchment managers, advisors and interested stakeholders – including local community groups and the general public.

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) is a public-sector research centre – part of theNatural Environment Research Council(NERC) – which delivers independent research, survey, training and knowledge transfer in the environmental sciences to advance knowledge of planet Earth as a complex, interacting system.

We conduct independent mission-driven research in support of NERC’s strategic goals and work in close partnership with the scientific community, government departments and agencies, as well as the private sector.

Located at sites in England, Scotland and Wales, our National Capability and extensive network of long-term monitoring and experimental field sites provide access to diverse ecosystems and support an internationally renowned research capacity.

Our research is aimed at improving understanding of the environment and the processes that support life on Earth. We are particularly interested in the impacts of human activity on the world around us and in developing ready-to-use approaches for achieving environmental sustainability.

Our skills and expertise range from the smallest scale (the gene) to the largest scale (whole Earth systems). Our science tackles the environment in a holistic manner, integrating a wide range of scientific disciplines. This combines basic, applied and strategic research.

In partnership, we are a major custodian of environmental data, including 89 million records of 40,000 species occurring across Britain and Ireland, as well as records of over 50,000 station years of daily and monthly river flow data, derived from more than 1,300 gauging stations throughout the UK.

We are engaged in major international networks, such as the Partnership for European Environmental Research (PEER)and the EurAqua Network of European Freshwater Research Organisations. We also lead European and global research efforts including the International Cooperative Programme on Effects of Air Pollution on Natural Vegetation and Crops and NitroEurope IP.

Our unique combination of cross-cutting scientific expertise, long-term environmental monitoring and state-of-the-art research infrastructure enable us to deliver practicable solutions so that future generations can benefit from a rich and healthy environment.

Relevant Local Organisations

Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Red Squirrel - Darin Smith

Through monitoring and collecting data, we demonstrate an accurate picture of habitats and species that need our protection and we have developed a reputation for our objectivity and knowledge. The Wildlife Trusts campaign for better protection of our precious wildlife and habitats, raising awareness among the public and at government level to wildlife threats is central to our role. We are local wildlife experts, with a national voice and a passion for nature we love to share.

The Trust manages over 2,000 acres of some of the region’s most precious wild places in the form of 37 Nature Reserves and 20 Local Nature Reserves. These provide places where wildlife can thrive and people can relax and enjoy the wealth of our natural heritage.

The Trust monitors all planning applications within its area and makes comments where appropriate on the potential effect of the proposals on nature conservation. It provides advice to landowners, from members of the public to farmers, businesses and local authorities, on how best to manage their land for wildlife. In addition, it works in partnership with key agencies to ensure that the necessary legislation and policies are in place to conserve and enhance the region’s biodiversity.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

We are a local charity working for Yorkshire’s wonderful wildlife and local communities.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is part of the influential UK-wide partnership of 47 Wildlife Trusts. The Trust has worked for more than 65 years to protect wildlife and wild places, and educate, influence and empower people. We manage 95 of the best sites and help others to manage theirs. Our work is helping to secure the future of many important habitats and species, which might otherwise be lost.

In only the last few years, the Trust has:

  • Worked tirelessly to secure the future of Yorkshire’s water vole populations, the mammal that the beloved ‘Ratty’ in Wind and the Willows was based on
  • Restored and maintained some of the last remaining lowland heath habitat in Yorkshire
  • Enabled over 600 volunteers to take positive action for their local environment
  • Advised landowners on how to manage their land for wildlife
  • Encouraged communities to protect and enjoy wildlife in their local area; and campaigned successfully for wildlife friendly development
  • Inspired children with natural play and wildlife watching.

We see the future of wildlife conservation as a Living Landscape and a Living Sea – by identifying key areas to protect for wildlife, improving and joining them up across the county in partnership with other landowners we can create an inspiring, accessible landscape which is full of wildlife and rich in opportunities for learning and sustainable economic development.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is the only voluntary organisation devoted solely to the conservation of the wildlife and wildplaces of Cumbria. The Trust stands up for wildlife, creates wildlife havens, and seeks to raise environmental awareness.

Formed in 1962 and supported by over 15,000 members, the Trust cares for over 40 nature reserves, campaigns for the protection of endangered habitats and species such as limestone pavements and red squirrels, and works with adults and children to discover the importance of the natural world.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is part of a partnership of 47 local Wildlife Trusts across the UK. With 670,000 members and 2,200 nature reserves, we are the largest UK voluntary organisation dedicated to conserving the full range of the UK’s habitats and species. Visit The Wildife Trusts national website.

Ribble Rivers Trust


The source of the Ribble is located at Ribblehead in North Yorkshire at the confluence of two streams, Cam Beck and Gayle Beck.  Numerous tributaries subsequently adjoin the Ribble as it flows along its 70 mile journey to the Irish Sea at Preston, resulting in a sizeable river with a catchment area of over 860 square miles.  The estuary itself is among the largest in the UK at over 10 miles wide, and is an important protected site for overwintering sea birds.



The Trust was formed back in 1997 in an attempt to restore the surrounding flora and wildlife to its former glory.  Over the years, industrial and agricultural pollution as well as water abstraction and inadequate sewage treatment have caused severe habitat damage to the Ribble and its tributaries, to such an extent that the wildlife supported by the river has been put under threat.  In recent years, water quality in our urban rivers such as the Calder and Darwen has improved, but the smaller streams of the Ribble and Hodder have deteriorated – the intensity of modern agriculture being the main source of the problem.  Diffuse pollution is particularly damaging to small streams, as even small amounts of pesticides and herbicides can greatly harm wildlife.  It is our mission to protect and enhance the water environments of the Ribble catchment for the benefit of current and future generations.

Our work extends over a catchment of 900 square miles, the majority of which is concentrated on the smaller tributaries and feeder streams as these are the “arteries” of a river and are much more vulnerable to pollution and physical damage.  If these are healthy, the main rivers will be healthy.  However this is no small task as there are a significant number of small tributaries, and very few people realise just how many there are.  The map above shows what the Trust considers to be important tributaries, all of which support various invertebrates, fish, birds and mammal species.

Lancashire Environment Fund

The Lancashire Environmental Fund (LEF or the Fund) was set up in 1998 as a not for profit organisation to support community and environmental projects within Lancashire with grants generated by the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) regulated by Entrust. To find out more about LCF visit Funds are provided by landfill operators SITA UK Ltd and Neales Waste Management and are enhanced by a 10% third party contribution from Lancashire County Council.

The Fund is an equal partnership between SITA UK Ltd, Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Community Futures. Representatives from each organisation serve on the Fund’s Board and Project Assessment Panel to ensure that the best projects throughout the county, which provide environmental, community and social benefits, are supported.

The Fund has allocated over £17m to more than 650 environmental and community projects throughout the county to date.

Action For Sustainable Living

AfSL has a unique approach in the drive to encourage sustainable living, combining core values.


AfSL covers all sustainability issues because we believe that the journey towards a sustainable lifestyle involves attitudinal change in almost everything we do, as well as behavioural change in specialised areas. As individuals, we don’t divide our lives into energy, food, waste or other compartments. In other words, AfSL starts where the individual is. Nevertheless, AfSL acts as an effective conduit for single issue organisations to get their message across. When Action Groups (see below) on a particular issue are set up we can access expert advice and resources. We broker partnerships with other agencies and services to better support local communities to achieve their goals.


The news about climate change can appear scary and overwhelming. The problems seem so great that many people instinctively bury their heads in the sand and hope they will go away – or that someone else will take responsibility for sorting them out. This perception is often reinforced by the doom-laden nature of much reporting. For that reason AfSL always emphasises the good news and provides examples of what individuals and groups can achieve. Small steps taken cumulatively can have an enormous impact. In fact, they can change the world.


As individuals, we are influenced by what is going on around us: if friends, family and neighbours make changes, we are more likely to do so. AfSL starts where people are. When an individual approaches us with a desire to make a change in one area of their lives, we build on this interest as a springboard to encourage further changes. We build the skills, resources, confidence and employability of local volunteers (many of whom will complete accredited training). Through our involvement people will become more adept at working together and become a voice for local action.


AfSL works with local people to set up and facilitate Action Groups. We encourage and support volunteers in local communities (ward level or smaller) to work on the challenges that they feel most strongly about and to develop the skills and resources to resolve these issues. These are single issue campaigns to raise awareness, run local events, promote local projects (such as car sharing schemes, reducing waste and promoting recycling, tackling fuel poverty and distributing low energy light bulbs). AfSL works with local schools (through our A Few Small Steps service as part of the Sustainable Schools Agenda) to encourage them to become more sustainable and to embed them more firmly in their communities. Our ‘whole school’ approach ensures that, over time, the culture in which pupils, teachers, managers and ancillary staff work will come to embrace and actively promote a sustainable future. We also encourage local initiatives: supporting local shops to supply local and sustainable/ethical products and services (and providing people with local maps of what is available locally). Such enterprises create genuine wealth for the community and develop confidence and self-reliance. Many local activities that start off as voluntary initiatives have the potential to become social enterprises. We aim to support individuals and groups to make that transition.

Lasting change

AfSL is committed to creating stronger communities over time. Our approach allows support on the ground to be maintained, preventing enthusiasm and initiative from leaking away. We offer an innovative and coherent model of service delivery for creating real and lasting change on the ground. Over time changes become irreversible and stimulates yet more steps on the road to a sustainable future.

United Utilities

United Utilities holds a licence to provide water and sewage services to around seven million people in North West England. These services are carefully regulated – with the water regulator, Ofwat, reviewing our price limits every five years. To show how we put our earnings to work, between 2010-2015 we will be investing more than £3 billion to improve the water and wastewater infrastructure and the environment across the North West, covering:

  • Over 42,000 kilometres of water pipes, from Cumbria to Cheshire
  • Over 76,000 kilometres of sewers
  • 569 wastewater treatment works
  • 94 water treatment works
  • Over 56,000 hectares of catchment land

Since 1990, we’ve made major improvements right across our business, and by investing more than £4,000 for every household in the North West we have:

  • Halved the amount of leakage from our networks, supported by ongoing investment to replace worn-out pipes
  • Helped improve compliance with bathing water standards across the North West which has risen from just over 30% to more than 90%
  • Improved our water quality from 99.6% to over 99.9% – the best it’s ever been

Yorkshire Water

What we doWhat we do

We manage the collection, treatment and distribution of water in Yorkshire, supplying around 1.24 billion litres of drinking water each day – that’s a lot of water.

At the same time we also collect, treat and dispose of about one billion litres of waste water safely back into the environment.

To do this we operate more than 700 water and sewage treatment works and 120 reservoirs. We look after 62,000 miles of water and sewerage mains – enough pipework to circulate the earth!

Our job is to keep the pipes in good working order and continually improve them. We’re currently spending around £750 per household to maintain and upgrade our pipes and works to reduce the risk of bursts, low water pressure, incidents of discolouration, sewer flooding and odour problems – click here to read about our investment plan .

We use water from reservoirs, rivers and boreholes and have a unique water grid system which allows us to move water around Yorkshire to where it’s needed most.Children playing on a beach

But we’re about much more than just water and sewerage services. We’re one of Yorkshire’s largest landowners and have opened a lot of our land for our customers to enjoy. Visit the recreation section to find out more about the places you can visit and download walks, cycle and horseriding routes, as well as podcasts and activities for kids .

As one of Yorkshire’s biggest companies we work closely with local communities. Through our latest community campaign  ‘Hands Up’ we’re creating sustainable gardens and allotments in primary schools across Yorkshire.

Our vision is “Taking responsibility for the water environment for good”. This is to create a common vision that covers all that we do across the whole of the Kelda Group.

We have also developed five supporting ‘values’ which help us to shape the way we behave and make decisions on our way towards this vision.  These values are:

  • We pull together – We work together for a shared vision
  • We plan ahead – We look beyond today’s challenges to create tomorrow’s solutions
  • We can’t do this on our own – We recognise that strong relationships will help us build a better future.
  • We think outside the pipes – We think and act creatively
  • We all make a difference – Each one of us plays an important part in achieving our vision.

Dee Valley Water

Dee Valley Water was formed in 1997 with the merger of the former Chester Water Company and Wrexham Water Company. Both of these former companies had roots which stretched back to the middle of the nineteenth century.

Dee Valley Water is a water supply only company and does not deal with the removal of sewerage. Our area of supply covers 831 square kilometres in North East Wales and the North West of England.

We operate eight impounding reservoirs, two river abstractions and two groundwater sources to supply approximately 62 million litres per day to over 258,000 customers.

Water is treated at six treatment works and the water is supplied through a network of 1,940km of water mains, 25 pumping stations and 37 clean water storage reservoirs.

Our primary responsibility is to operate and maintain our network of assets to ensure a safe and reliable supply of drinking water to our customers.

In common with the other 24 water companies in England and Wales, we are regulated by legal statute.

The economic regulator, OFWAT, is responsible for setting price limits that we can apply. It is also responsible for monitoring our performance and uses the data supplied to compare economic and performance levels across the industry.

The regulator responsible for drinking water quality is the Drinking Water Inspectorate which acts on behalf of the National Assembly for Wales in respect of Dee Valley Water.

The Environment Agency oversees our environmental performance, in particular it regulates the abstraction of water from our sources.

Every year each of the regulators publishes reports, which compare our performance against national standards covering water quality, levels of service and availability of resources and other parameters.

Peel Ports

Peel Ports is a unique network of strategically situated ports, terminals, hubs, shipping lines and state-of-the-art services. One that connects the UK and Ireland, to Europe and the rest of the world.

In every market sector, with every commodity, our impact is felt. Whether it’s renewable energy helping to power the nation. Whether it’s the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the raw materials or the finished products. It’s not just about transport, it’s about logistics. It’s not just about today. It’s about tomorrow.

That’s why Peel Ports is More than Ports.

Liverpool 2

The new deepwater Container Terminal at the Port of Liverpool.

Liverpool2 is the new deepwater container terminal at the Port of Liverpool. Costing in excess of £300m to build, it is the key project in a much wider scheme being developed by Peel Ports that will transform the way logistics work in the British Isles.

At present, 90% of deep sea cargo enters the UK via the South, despite 50% of the UK container market actually being closer to Liverpool. With an increasing onus on reducing carbon emissions, as well as cutting the costs of global supply chains, it’s clear that the current UK model simply isn’t sustainable.

The construction of Liverpool2 will significantly increase the size of container vessel the Port of Liverpool can handle, transforming global supply routes and once again allowing direct services from around the world to call at the Port of Liverpool. The new terminal will more than double the container handling capacity of the port.

Liverpool2 and the Manchester Ship Canal 

Key to our vision will be the relationship between the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal, operating under a single management team for the first time in their histories.

The unique logistics platform created by the combination of Liverpool2, the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal will offer the best port-centric facilities combined with a population-centric location, creating a truly unique logistics opportunity.

Based in the UK’s manufacturing and consumption heartland, this logistics platform will deliver significant cost, carbon and congestion benefits to global supply chains by bringing together all three modes of transport including road, rail and – uniquely for the UK – inland waterways.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

The Greater Manchester Strategy, Stronger Together, is the sustainable community strategy for the Greater Manchester city region.
Our vision for Greater Manchester is that by 2020, the city region will have pioneered a new model for sustainable economic growth based around a more connected, talented and greener city region, where all our residents are able to contribute to and benefit from sustained prosperity and a good quality of life.
To achieve these ambitions, the Strategy sets out a programme of vigorous collective action based on reforming public services and driving sustainable economic growth to deliver prosperity for all.
The GM Strategy will guide the work of the GMCA and the GM Local Enterprise Partnership going forward and sets the broad objectives for other Greater Manchester bodies, such as Transport for Greater Manchester, the Low Carbon Hub and other key partnerships.  It will also help inform wider public policy across the city region.
A draft version drawing on the 2009 Strategy benefitted from a public consultation exercise held in summer 2013 and a final version was formally approved by the GMCA and the GM Local Enterprise Partnership in November 2013.

This will continue to evolve throughout the process of this project, however, I feel I have made a productive start in establishing various institutions that could act as a reference or possibly as contacts for numerous aspects of my intended narrative.

Through consideration of potential locations and refining my knowledge of current freshwater issues and ecology, will become more concentrated. For now, I will continue my research.

Revised Research Proposal

It has been only a few days since my last discussion of my research proposal, however prior to our next session, I have made numerous updates to further refine this process.


  1.  Overview/Topics of Interest(s)
  2. Introduction/Research Question
  3. Aims and Objectives
  4. Rationale
  5. Previous Research
  6. Qualification and Restrictions
  7. Specialist Needs – Equipment access, workshops etc
  8. Bibliography


For this body of work, I intend to develop and expand further upon the contextual themes and visual approaches I established during my recent video project.

In this, I started to document the environmental impact of human development upon the British landscape (agriculture, industry) and in turn, the resulting changes within local ecosystems and their natural inhabitants, as well as this, I [HS1] began to validate the power and endurance of natural life forms and wildlife, dominating and surviving amongst the fragile remnants of man-made constructs.

I intend to add to this ongoing process, through the consideration of my previous research of documentary landscape photography such as national and contemporary environmental issues and relevant practitioners, as well as undertaking new areas of research as a means of refining the development of my ideas and intentions for this series.

In particular, I want this to progress my knowledge and image development of wildlife photography, including related concepts, potential sites/ locations, nature photographers and contemporary issues within this field of practice.

My chosen theme relates to the subject of water titled ‘Britain’s Lost Waters: The Ripple Effect.

I have chosen to highlight this issue because water, or more specifically fresh water is a life source to humanity and almost all other life forms and is sourced through nature. It is essential to our basic survival, our health and mental wellbeing.

“Humans rely on the way ecosystems services control our climate – pollution, water quality, pollination – and we’re finding out that many of these regulating services are degrading,” –  Bob Watson, chief scientific adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and co-chairman of the NEA.

I would like this series to discuss how even one seemingly small change or disturbance can cause other widespread issues such as the attempted domestication and breeding of minks, after they escaped into the wild, this resulted in a critical threat towards water voles, a native species. However, through the protection and/or restoration of popular wildlife sites, there has been a significant increase in otters, which then in turn has restored more of an ecological balance through reducing mink numbers.  I want this concept to underpin my project, and in a sense expressing the ripple effect both literally and figuratively.



Firstly, I have started by revisiting previous examples of relevant research and determine what aspects I need to progress upon further, or which areas I may have initially neglected to explore within my previous projects.

From this, I can begin to explore new research that will further refine and expand upon my knowledge of various contextual and aesthetic concepts relating to both landscape and wildlife photography. This research will further explore the work of landscape and wildlife practitioners I am acquainted with but in greater depth, in particular, those visual proved very influential within my video project such as Pål Hermansen, Fay Godwin and Jem Southam.

In addition, this should allow me to progress towards new influences of both wildlife and landscape photographers. This process will likely involve a variety of media formats relating both to conceptual and aesthetic aspects of relevant visual work such as books, journals, websites and potential exhibitions (if available). This is especially important in regards to wildlife, as this was relatively undeveloped compared to landscape influences.

From these influences, I want to find further inspiration by continuing my research of contemporary environmental/conservation issues, specifically, stories relating to freshwater issues that demonstrate the signs of human neglect upon land (budget cuts, pollution, exhaust of water, loss of water based wildlife) or reinforce an interest in preserving it or want to allow for independent recovery (community-led conservation efforts to preserve rivers and wetland, campaigns against urban development) or draw an emphasis to a particular area or multiple areas in which natural elements are ‘reclaiming’ privately owned rural land or urban areas.

As a result, this should allow to determine various rivers, wetland and/or marine sites of potential photographic interest that could form the basis of one or multiple visits, depending upon the scale and quantity of intended sites.





Wells, L (2011). Land Matters: Landscape Photography, Culture and Identity. I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.


Moving away from some of her general critical studies of photography (Photography: A Critical Introduction) I decided to concentrate towards Wells’ insight into issues relating to the subject of land and landscape photography. Within this, Wells discusses how photographers engage with concepts relating to land, in particular, its idealisation and representation. From this, the perception of land as a landscape, influences our political, national and environmental attitudes.


Sterry, P (2008). British Wildlife: A photographic guide to every common species. London: Collins.


During my initial research, I started to consider potential sources of reference and classification in terms of recognising wildlife. This simple guide gives nature enthusiasts an outline of common species of British wildlife, including each ones physical attributes, sightings etc…

MACK. 2013. The River Winter by Jem Southam. [online] Available at:


For this, I revisited the work of Jem Southam but focused upon a series I haven’t previously consider in any great detail. Upon this page, I could gauge a sense of the cohesion and display throughout the printed book format of this series.


Rivers on the Edge. 2013. [e-book] WWF. Available through: WWF


This is a e-book of a recent publication by WWF that discusses one of their latest conservation projects relating to threatened British rivers and in particular the need to preserve chalks streams.


O’Hagan, S (2013). In the Realm of Nature by Paul Martineau – review.


Whilst considering potential influences from nature photographers, I came across this book by Paul Martineau upon SOLAR. I don’t currently have access to this yet but to gain a understanding of its significance, I found a review upon the Guardian website, in the Observer by Sean O’Hagan. This not only began to discuss the published work itself but also of Martineau’s influence and inspiration to others in his exploration and conservation efforts during his interaction with the American landscape.


Ross, D (2013). Lottery fund gives £3m to restore remote landscape and help wildlife.


Whilst researching contemporary news relating to land and/or wildlife issues or events in the UK, I discovered an article within the Scottish Herald. This discussed a recent £3m funding effort from the lottery fund ‘as part of a landscape partnership project covering 150,000 acres of this part of Ross-shire and Sutherland’. This highlighted quite an optimistic action towards national and cultural awareness of the need for the restoration and protection of both land and wildlife.

Barton, B. 2013. Why is Europe failing to take the energy-water connection seriously?. The Guardian, [online] 4 November. Available at:


This is an article featured within the Observer highlighting the concept of creating renewable and sustainable water supply such as constructed wetlands. Barton especially reinforces this as a major issue in European countries including the UK, as we haven’t started to consider the seriousness of in the exhaust of water as a resource.


Benyon, R. 2013. Water is too precious a resource to be squandered. The Observer, [online] 17 November. Available at:


This is an article featured within the Observer that discusses the scarcity of water and the how UK governmental policies regarding water need to change otherwise we will suffer further losses of wetland habitats and eco-systems that are needed to maintain the natural balance that regulates healthy water flow to connecting rivers, preventing potential droughts and flooding.


Boccaletti, G. 2013. Wind in the Willows river ‘risks running dry’ if new water bill is passed. The Guardian, [online] 25 November. Available at:

This is an article featured within the Guardian that emphasises environmental issues that will result if the latest changes to the UK water bill are pushed through, focusing in particular upon the river Pang and its resident water voles which acted as the inspiration for ratty, featured in the Wind in the Willows. The water bill would allow private licence owners to sell drained water from our exhausted British rivers to supply our ever increasing population and thus compromising wetland areas inhabited

Brandt, N. 2013. End of Eden. The Independent on Sunday, [online] 20 October. Available at:

This is an article featured within the Independent on Sunday reviewing the creative work of photographer, Nick Brandt. In this, he raises worldwide issues relating to destruction of natural habitats and the hunting and decline of wildlife. Brandt’s images make a very bold statement about this subject, one image shows the mounted head of a lion being placed in relation to its natural environment.

Carrington, D. 2013. England names 27 new marine conservation zones. The Guardian, [online] 21 November. Available at:

This is an article featured within the Guardian discussing the recent classification of marine conservation zones, an area often lacking in interest and priority when considering conservation sites. Of the 127 recommended zones suggested by government consultants, only 27 of those were acknowledged.

designboom | architecture & design magazine. 2013. edward burtynsky water photography – designboom | architecture & design magazine. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured within Architecture & Design magazine earlier this year, featuring a review of Edward Burtynsky’s latest work, water. This series focuses upon water deficiency, using large scale aerial images and video from across the world to reinforce the nature of water, its vulnerability, capability, and power and how it is used.

Harvey, F. 2013. Water shortages may make fracking impractical, industry says. The Guardian, [online] 27 November. Available at:

This is an article featured in the Guardian highlighting issues with water shortages and the controversial process of fracking which requires a large demand upon water supplies.

Hull, S. 2013. Source: Graduate Photography Online – 2013 – Dublin Institute of Technology – BA (Hons) Photography. [online] Available at:

This is an article that featured within source magazine’s online page and discusses the work of Jonathan Higgins, a recent photography graduate from the Dublin Institute of Technology. Six Feet Over is about a raised bog that is now designated as Special Areas of Conservation and aims to reinforce the importance of honouring the country’s heritage and traditions as well as protecting our landscape for future generations.

Hull, S. 2013. Source: Graduate Photography Online – 2013 – UCA Rochester – BA (Hons) Photography (Contemporary Practice). [online] Available at:

This is an article that featured within source magazine’s online page and discusses the work of Robin Albrecht, a recent photography graduate from UCA Rochester. Explored examines man’s relation to nature, highlighting the question, ‘how far do we actually need to go to reach a place where we can rid ourselves of all signs of mankind to be able to connect with ourselves on a deeper level?’

Hull, S. 2013. Source: Graduate Photography Online – 2013 – Hereford College of Arts – BA (Hons) Photography. [online] Available at:

This is an article that featured within source magazine’s online page and discusses the work of Ben Herron, a recent photography graduate from Hereford College of Arts. The featured work focuses on an area in the Peak District Padley Gorge.

Lees, J. 2011. Wetlands: constantly changing, always photogenic. The Guardian, [online] 2 December. Available at:

This is an article that featured in the Guardian that focuses upon the aesthetic qualities and photo opportunities of wetland areas and their ability to be a photogenic subject.


Carwardine, M (2013). How to be a professional wildlife photographer.

Of recent, I have a found a great deal of advice and inspiration from Mark Carwardine, a zoologist, conservationist and wildlife photographer, amongst numerous other fields of expertise. Within a wide variety of published articles, I found this particular example to be quite engaging and constructive in offering an insight into practical considerations and approaches when aiming to work within the field of professional wildlife photography. (2013). Bees, birds and hedgerows at risk: public must act to protect nature on farms.

Another example of a contemporary issue relating to land and wildlife in the UK, is a story published upon the Wildlife Trust’s official site. It discusses a political dispute relating to budget cuts in farm environment protection schemes, implemented as a means protecting local wildlife. ‘The Government has given only 28 days for the public to have their say on how 69% of the English landscape is maintained and how farmers can be financially supported to deliver the environmental benefits that underpin sustainable food production, healthy ecosystems and rural communities.’ This draws an emphasis to the ongoing ethical conflicts between cost-cutting governmental measures and the preservation of environments that are needed to sustain local eco-systems and in turn, wildlife.

BBC Nature. 2013. Restoring Britain’s wildlife vision. [online] Available at:

This is a photo story/gallery featured upon the BBC Nature site that describes the restoration of British wildlife and an ongoing project enlisted by 20 wildlife photographers to capture the ‘2020 vision’ for habitat restoration and its connection to our own well-being.

BBC News. 2013. Biodiversity plans ‘too simplistic’. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured upon the BBC science and environment site and explores the simplicity of governmental biodiversity policies and how they need to be reconsidered if they are to actually achieve their intended goals.

BBC News. 2011. Nature ‘is worth billions’ to UK. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured upon the BBC science and environment site and discusses how profitable nature is within the UK for the purposes of food production, water, clean air as well as cultural and health benefits that are often taken for granted because they appear almost unlimited. 2013. Chris Jordan – Midway. [online] Available at:×24.

This is a reference which was discussed during a recent feedback session relating to a series of wildlife images by photographer Chris Jordan that highlight the issues related to waste disposal, consumerism and consumption and how this has negatively impacted the feeding behaviours of various wildlife, particularly birds, often causing in the death of their young. His bold and almost grotesque images reinforce the significance of mass consumption and human development in the disruption and demise of elements within the natural world.

Geographic, N. 2013. Unusual Pictures: “Calcified” Birds, Bats Found at African Lake. [online] Available at:

This is a photo story featured upon National Geographic’s site, which offer a more specific insight into a series of work by Nick Brandt, looking at his series of Calcified birds based at Tanzania‘s Lake Natron.

Geographic, N. 2013. Freshwater Initiative | National Geographic. [online] Available at:

This is an information page featured upon National Geographic that discusses the importance of fresh water and emphasises the significance of restoring rivers and reducing our water ‘footprint’.

Jones, C. 2013. Autumn-A Mosaic Of Colours. Craig Jones – Wildlife Photography, [blog] 27 October, Available at:

This is a blog post featured upon the wildlife photography site of Craig Jones. It simply highlights a series of his autumn wildlife images featuring red squirrels, deer and short eared owls. 2013. The natural world: Earth, Wind and Flight.. [online] Available at:

This is the homepage of Maxwell Law, established British landscape and wildlife photographer whose work I discovered during a recent workshop upon ‘Earth, Wind and Flight’ at Martin Mere Bird Festival. 2013. Natural England – Wildlife Management and Licensing. [online] Available at:

This is the wildlife management and licensing page featured upon Natural England’s site, this will prove to be a useful resource when refines potential freshwater wildlife subjects. 2013. Natural England – Water voles. [online] Available at:

Similar to my previous example but more specifically focused upon water voles, a native mammals whose rapidly declining population is starting to recover due to the rising otter numbers in the UK. As I will be focusing upon rivers, I will most likely need a licence in case I come across a regular water vole habitat or wish to photograph them. 2013. Exhibition and tickets – Wildlife Photographer of the Year. [online] Available at:

This is promotional article featured upon the Natural History museum’s website that discusses the current wildlife photographer of the year exhibition being hosted there until March 2014. 2013. River to Ridge – Celebrating the natural beauty of Britain’s wild places. [online] Available at:

This is the main home page of writer and landscape photographer Garry Brannigan and his gallery of images based in the exploration of wild places in the natural world. 2013. Aln Estuary recommended Marine Conservation Zone | The Wildlife Trusts. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured upon the Wildlife Trust website and refers to a recommended marine conservation zone, Aln Estuary, which is currently under threat and is one the of nearest marine focused sites. 2013. Water and wetlands | The Wildlife Trusts. [online] Available at:

This is an information page featured upon the Wildlife Trust website and emphasises both the significance of wetland areas as a ‘living landscape’ as well as some of the conservation issues relating to such areas. 2013. Key freshwater issues. [online] Available at:

This is an information page featured upon the WWF website and highlights concerns and issues related to the threat of human pressure and demands for freshwater resources. 2013. Why are chalk streams special?. [online] Available at:

This is an information page featured upon the WWF website based upon their rivers on the edge project and discusses the importance of chalk streams for wildlife and their ability buffer the effects of flood and drought. 2013. River Hull Project | Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured upon the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust page and draws an emphasis towards a project based around the River Hull an SSSI due to its chalk stream features. 2013. Living Went Project | Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. [online] Available at:

This is an article featured upon the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust page that highlights on their most recent environmental projects, the Living Went project based around the areas of River Went and the streams, becks and wetlands that flow into it throughout Featherstone and Pontefract in the Wakefield district. Also known to have sightings of water voles.

Research: Environmental Photographer of the Year – Michele Palazzi

During my research, I decided to search for further aesthetic influence for this series through the work of current environmental photographers. One example in particular stood out to me for his definitive approach to a hard hitting photo story, Michele Palazzi, this years winner of the Environmental Photographer of the Year award.

One aspect of this article I noted was the organisation running this competition was the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.

Environmental Photographer Of The Year 2013: The Winning Shots

on April 10 2013 2:04 AM

Shutterbugs from around the world submitted more than 3,000 entries for the 2013 Environmental Photographer of the Year contest, but in the end, it was the haunting shot of a child, dressed as Spider-Man, stuck in a sandstorm in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, that took home top honors.

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management awarded Italian photographer Michele Palazzi the £5,000 grand prize for the shot “Gone with the Dust #02” at a private ceremony on Tuesday evening at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Briton Eleanor Bennett, meanwhile, took home £1,000 as the Young Environmental Photographer of the Year for the under 18 category.

Their photos, in addition to selections from roughly 50 finalists, go on display at the Royal Geographical Society Wednesday.

CIWEM has sponsored the competition since its inception in 2007, and it said the showcase provides photographers with an opportunity to share images of environmental and social issues with an international audience. The exhibition aims to shed light on “the causes, consequences and solutions to climate change and social inequality.”

Judges this year looked at each shot’s impact, composition and originality, as well as the photographers’ technical ability, to whittle the pack down to the 50-odd shots featured at the Royal Geographical Society. The selected works examine issues such as innovation, sustainable development, poverty, human rights and population growth.

“Shock and awe, beauty and despair — it’s all there,” said CIWEM Executive Director Nick Reeves. “These photographs … tell a breathtaking and compelling range of stories on the environment and on the condition in which we live.”

 Gone with the dust #02, 2012

Michele Palazzi took top honors for this shot, taken in the Gobi desert of Mongolia.

The image in reference is quite morbidly beautiful in its approach, combining something we associate as an icon of ‘super-human’ in western culture (spiderman) and placing it within the context of a harsh, dried up and devastated environment, a far cry away from our usual associations. It makes for an even more dramatic impact upon the audience.

This is reinforced further through the contrasting colour of the subject and absence of colour in their surroundings.

Survivors, 2011

This century old building in the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh does not harbour ghosts of the past – it shelters living and hopeful souls, braving life in the present. It is home to eighty families of sweepers – one of the most neglected and downtrodden communities, despite rendering an important service making it deserved to be noticed and respected. GMB Akash

 Farmer under the Sun, 2012

Taken in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, a farmer dries rice in the hot sun. Sunlight helps the drying of agricultural products. When the harvest season comes, the farmers are ready to collect crops from the rice paddies in order to ease milling and production. Alamsyah Rauf

UYUNI, 2011

It is one of the most impressive sights in the world, bringing time to a standstill. The Salar de Uyuni in Southwestern Bolivia, is now one of the biggest mountain ranges in the world at an elevation of 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above mean sea level. Salar de Uyuni is one of the most coveted sources in the world thanks to new technologies. The mountain hosts 140 million tonnes of lithium, over half of the world’s supply. Javier Arcenillas

 Quiver Trees by Night 2, 2012

The cool glow of our Milky Way contrasts with the warm light pollution from the nearby town of Keetmanshoop, Namibia, providing a colourful backdrop to a grove of Quiver Trees. This panorama was captured at the Quiver Tree Forest Restcamp, and covers a 230 degree view, composed of 12 exposures. Florian Breuer

Model housing, 2012

Designer housing lies almost empty unsold after the housing boom ends in Spain; just some of the estimated 1.2 million empty properties that Spain has on offer. This estate near the coast is eerily quiet with only a few properties occupied; concept living that has made it to construction but with no one to move in. We seem to have an innate need to order and compartmentalise our lives, often more obvious from the air. Steve Brockett

Marooned, 2012

Villas surrounded by a sea of intensive green houses in southern Spain. Plasticos, as they are colloquially named, spread at an alarming rate over the landscape. This is the often unseen price for year round fruits and vegetables, destined for northern European supermarkets; arm in arm with poorly paid migrant workers and conditions that often pose high respiratory risks, they represent the agricultural equivalent of a sweatshop. Steve Brockett

Environmental migrants: the last illusion. Ulaan Baator, Mongolia #01, 2011

A child walking on the streets of the Gher District. In Ulaan Baator, a huge number of children are not able to attend the school because of the extremely poor conditions of their families. 2008 became the point of no return – for the first time in history there are more people living in cities than in rural areas. Cities will grow even larger due to climate change and to environmental migrants, who are destined to become the new humanitarian emergency of the planet in the next few decades. Alessandro Grassani

Hong Kong Hole, 2010

In East Asia, western style development is racing ahead of other projects. Stuart Chape

 Environmental migrants: the last illusion. Ulaan Baator, Mongolia #06, 2011

Erdene Tuya together with her 3 year old son, Tuvchinj. They wake up while her husband Batgargal checks on the herd. 90% of environmental migration will occur in less developed countries, with relocation from rural areas to the more degraded areas of the city known as slums. The poorest countries, those who have least contributed to climate change, will be the worse hit by this phenomenon due to the lack of funds invested in alternative development policies in those areas which become inhabitable. Alessandro Grassani

Environmental migrants: the last illusion. Ulaan Baator, Mongolia #07, 2011

29 year old Erdene Tuya hauls a sheep lost to the dzud to a small burial ground close to their yurt. In Mongolia’s Arkhangai province, the Tsamba family lives on the edge, struggling through harsh winters alongside their herds. The cities in these countries have already become victims of climate change and are destined to expand further due to unemployment, poverty and inhumane social conditions. Alessandro Grassani

Kai Löeffelbein/Laif, E-Waste in Ghana #01, 2011

According to a United Nations evaluation, up to 50 million tonnes of toxic electronic waste accumulate annually in the whole world. In the US, it is estimated that 50-80% of the waste collected for recycling is being exported. Because the US has not ratified the Basel Convention, this is legal. With the voluntary ratification of the Basel Convention, countries are forbidden by law to further export toxic electronic waste to countries that are not members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). But inspections of 18 European seaports found as much as 47% of waste destined for export, including e-waste, was illegal. Germany, for example, ship up to 100,000 tonnes of electronic waste overseas per year. In order to bypass the conditions of the Basel Convention, this merchandise is declared second-hand-goods or even development aid. Trading with electronic waste has become a lucrative business in which millions are earned while professional recycling is quite expensive. Kai Löffelbein

 Polluted Landscape, 2012

Due to the vast exploitation of coal mines, meadows in Holingol City are left degraded and no cattle or sheep exist there. In order to maintain the image of the city, the local government sculptured more than 120 sheep, as well as cattle, horses and camels in the Horqin Grassland. Lu Guang

Residents going back home to take their belongings, Tomioka, Fukushima “No-Go Zone”, Japan, 2011

At the time of the Fukushima evacuation, the inhabitants fled from the radioactive cloud leaving everything behind. 134,000 people were forced to evacuate. Once a month, residents of the evacuated towns have special permission from the authorities to return to their homes to check that everything is in place and to remove their personal belongings. A recent survey among the evacuees has determined that 80% of the evacuees were absolutely not aware of what was going on and had no information on the type of protection to be taken. Pierpaolo Mittica

Odaka City, Fukuhima “No-Go Zone”, Japan, 2011

On March 11, 2011 one of the largest Tsunami’s on record hit Japan. Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was severely effected, damaging its safety and cooling systems. Within a few days, the core of three nuclear power plants entered meltdown, releasing a massive amount of radioactive nuclides. In April 2011, the Japanese government created an evacuated area of 20 km around the nuclear power plant of , refusing admittance to everyone. Before this evacuation Odaka had 13,000 inhabitants. Fukushima Daiichi

GPAction, 2011

180 km off the Greenland coast, 18 international activists from five inflatable speedboats, launched from the Greenpeace ship, Esperanza, climb ladders onto the 53,000 tonne oil exploratory rig, Leiv Eiriksson. Greenpeace was attempting to stop the Leiv Eiriksson oil rig from drilling in Baffin Bay – one of the most pristine and fragile natural areas in the world, home to important and vulnerable wildlife including almost all of the world’s Narwhal population as well as blue whales, sea bird colonies, and polar bears. Steve Morgan

Trashfighter, 2009

During my research travel through western Africa on the topic of waste and recycling, I focused on children at dump sites. Through my series “Trashfighters”, I wanted to show the living realities of these people, fighting on the waste for their everyday survival. With my team of T.O.Y.S. we made stops in the outskirts of Nouakchott, the main capital of Mauritania. We interviewed women who are recycling plastics as a part of the Zazou project. On the way I saw these two boys looking and smiling at us through the television frame. They were very excited at seeing us in the area. So I took this picture of them. I like the real happiness shining from their faces, although they are living in difficult and uncomfortable conditions. The Zazou Project is an Urban waste management and income generating activity for women from the outskirts of Nouakchott. In 2005, the Gret initiated the “Zazou” (plastic bag) project intended to improve the living conditions of women in the suburban districts of Nouakchott and to create income generating activities by setting up a plastic recycling business. Igor F. Petkovic

Olympics, 2012

The clear and ringing irony of the largest McDonald’s in the world being erected in the Olympic Park should not need to be stated either verbally or visually, but it seems that this bizarre decision was never picked up in the way I imagined it would have been. The surface joy of the Games and their success in that respect should not be undervalued, but in terms of supporting local business and taking the message of healthy living seriously by organisers on a genuine human level, it is painfully evident that this was a swindle. Josh Redman

An Oil Truck Heading Through Rwanda Bound for Uganda, 2011

An oil truck rolls through the hills of Rwanda along the dusty roads. Thomas White

Nuclear Winter, 2012

This picture was taken on a very cold winter day on the shore of Lake Bokod near Oroszlány. This lake is known for the little fisherman houses and the warm temperature of the lake’s water. The Oroszlány Power Plant is situated in front of the houses and the lake is never frozen in wintertime. When I took this photo, smoke erupted from the power plant and then it just started to snow.

One of the most impressive aspects of this body of work is Palazzi’s ability to change between almost entirely different subjects and visual compositions (desolate natural environments, portraiture, street scenes, architectural landscapes, industry) but maintain a strong sense of cohesion and visual narrative. This is something I hope to achieve in some way within my own work, all which telling different sides of the story or further reinforcing one aspects significance.

Overall, this body of work is a stunning representation of the contemporary environmental picture story.



Michele Palazzi was born in Rome in 1984. After gaining a three-year master degree in Photography at the Scuola Romana di Fotografia, he started working as a documentary photographer. In 2009 he received the Enzo Baldoni Prize with project 3,32AM on the earthquake in Abruzzo. Between 2010 and 2011 he has worked on the project Migrant Workers Journey recipient of the Project LaunchAward 2011 at CenterSanta Fe, exhibited in New Mexico Museum of Art and screened at the Visa Pour l’Image 2012. In 2013 he received the First Prize of Environmental Photographer of the Year Award. Between 2012 and 2013 he started working on Black Gold Hotel a long term project about the modernization impact in Mongolia exhibited at Format Festival 2013 (UK), Organ Vida Festival 2013 (CRO) and Athens Photo Festival 2013 (GR). He lives in Rome and he’s represented by Contrasto agency.

From this, I decided further review the body of work from which he gained his most recent acclaim, Black Gold Hotel.

In the last decade the economy of Mongolia has grown at an unprecedented rate, with GDP expanding by more than 10% per year. All this mostly depends on the mining industry: attracted by the large deposits of copper, gold and most of all coal, all of the industry’s global giants have invested and invest in this small country of Central Asia.

In this accelerated and deregulated development local populations and traditional ways of life, based on ancestral nomadic herding along routes across the steppes, are undergoing a crisis. Many families have left their activities and moved in large urban centers in search of work opportunities in this new industrial society, often slipping into economic and social poverty. Others, however, try to resist, dealing every day with pollution, dusts that poison the vegetation, and living conditions which get more and more difficult every day.

Black Gold Hotel is a journey in the daily lives of a few families from the Gobi desert, where the pasture which has been the main livelihood for centuries, is disappearing in a few decades,  On one hand, those who chose to continue the tradition of the steppe despite all difficulties, on the other those who preferred to take their chances in the large cities, unfortunately facing the reality of a space which is deteriorated and invaded by unreachable western cultural models.

Applying this personal context to the visual aspect of his work allowed me to view the portfolio of images which a new consideration, reinforcing the significance of environment and lifestyles of the subjects in question.

Overall, I found Palazzi’s series to be very compelling and quite desirable towards my own aims for this upcoming project.

I will continue my research.

Second Research Proposal

For this, we were asked to further developed any missing fields of information, add developing research and add a section titled proposal summary & development at the end as a means of highlighting new areas of consideration and how we have applied them since our previous session.

I will just include new elements I consider to be significant within this revision.

Title –

Britain’s Lost Waters: The Ripple Effect (working title)


Still in the process of development, however at this stage it would seem likely that I will need certain licences to photograph more protected sites or more elusive or endangered animals such as the water vole. However, I can access a variety of wildlife licences online through Natural England, which including potential photographic permissions.

Additionally, depending chosen site(s), I might need to contact the relevant institution or owners in advance prior to shoots, for example Martin Mere doesn’t not allow images taken at their sites to be for any commercial purpose, thus purpose discussions in advance might allow for greater creative flexibility. However, it is likely I will be looking for more low key locations.


Proposal Summary & Development

 Since my last session for this module, I have researched a wide variety of environment related news stories from sites such as The Guardian, BBC, The Independent, WWF, The Wildlife Trust, National Geographic and Source magazine. I have also researched the visual work of other relevant practitioners, both professionals and graduates. This includes; Edward Burtynsky, Jem Southam, Nick Brandt, Chris Jordan, Maxwell Law, Craig Jones, Jonathan Higgins, Robin Albrecht and Ben Herron.

This inspired me to focus upon a topic that is both influenced by the contextual examples of pre-existing landscape and wildlife photographers whilst remaining relevant as an ongoing contemporary issue.

In a broad sense, I have narrowed my overall theme to the subject of water – ‘Britain’s Lost Waters: The Ripple Effect.’

Water, or more specifically fresh water is a life source to humanity and almost all other life forms and is sourced through nature. It is essential to our basic survival, our health and mental wellbeing.

“Humans rely on the way ecosystems services control our climate – pollution, water quality, pollination – and we’re finding out that many of these regulating services are degrading,” –  Bob Watson, chief scientific adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and co-chairman of the NEA.

Recently, there has been increase in stories relating to humanities excess water consumption and use, resulting from overpopulation and agricultural development. This is especially relevant due to potential new laws being introduced to the UK water bill which will give authority to private water companies to drain various natural water supplies to facilitate. However, this increasing process is having a massively adverse effect upon British rivers, wetlands and lakes. In particular, the loss of chalk steams, each with a unique eco-systems thus of significant importance in regards to wildlife and almost exclusively native to the UK. This includes insects, water plants, fish, crayfish, birds and mammals such as water vole and otter thus offering a wide range of potential wildlife subjects.

This is isn’t the only issue either, areas such as wetlands help regulate and sustain overall water flow, preventing potential flooding and droughts. At this stage, we have an ever increasing population rate and no sufficient projects in place as means of creating a sustainable water source.

I found this topic was reinforced whilst visiting WWT’s Martin Mere site during their recent bird watching festival. Numerous talks from naturalists, ecologists and photographers certified the significance of wetland areas in the growth and survival of British wildlife. After the final talk of the day from professional travel, landscape and wildlife photographer Maxwell Law, I decided to stay for a one to one discussion, during which Law offered me a useful tip for the location of Kingfishers in Burnley providing I would not disclose it publicly. Kingfishers are often known for frequenting rivers thus are a relevant wildlife subject to this concept. Upon exploring the site itself, I also gained an appreciation for wealth of life that inhabits healthy areas of wetland.

Additionally, I find the subject of water quite compelling as a subject in an aesthetic sense, particularly as I intend to experiment with macro images.

I would like this series to discuss how even one seemingly small change or disturbance can cause other widespread issues such as the attempted domestication and breeding of minks, after they escaped into the wild, this resulted in a critical threat towards water voles, a native species. However, through the protection and/or restoration of potential wildlife sites, there has been a significant increase in otters, which then in turn has restored more of an ecological balance through reducing mink numbers.

The next stage is to start to focus upon potential locations including rivers and wetland areas and consider any issues with public access, photographic permissions etc.

Idea: Working Title & General Theme

Based upon my recent research of water consumption & abstraction in relation to environmental/wildlife topics, contemporary practitioners and relevant conservation or governmental organisations, I have been able to generate a potential working title that I feel encapsulates the concept I am currently developing upon.

Britain’s Lost Waters: The Ripple Effect

I want this to reinforce the subject of freshwater and its significance as a life source to almost every life form on earth, provided by nature and essential to our well being and lifestyles.

In this, I intend to discuss how even one seemingly small change or disturbance can cause other widespread issues.

For example the domestication and breeding of minks, whom escaped into the wild and created a critical threat towards water voles, a native species. However, through the protection and/or restoration of popular wildlife sites, there has been a significant increase in otters, which then in turn has restored more of an ecological balance through reducing mink numbers.

As a result, I want this concept to underpin my project, and in a sense express the ripple effect both literally and figuratively.

I am still revising my previous proposal, which I have fallen behind in due continued illness, however I am still attempting to continue my research and idea development.

I feel much more confident within this concept and title especially in terms of its current national and ecological significance.


Research: Edward Burtynsky – Water

During my research, I came across a contextual relevant body of photographic work by Edward Burtynsky.

My previous knowledge of Burtynsky’s creative work is through his large scale landscape images of architecture, industry and geology. There is often very modern, realist visual approach throughout his images, often following land’s transformation from natural to man-made.

During my earlier stages of photography at college, I often looked Burtynsky as an example of a contemporary photographer whose practice I could aspire towards, often fulfilling a sense of awe and place that few others have achieved within a field of the landscape romantics and technical panoramas. This does not mean to suggest I lack respect for this approach, as it is something that also forms part of my creative interests, however, his approach often filled a largely under-appreciated documentary approach to land, that has growth massively since its early origins in the 1970’s & 1980’s.

What I have often found appealing about his work, the richness of colour and contrast, usually representing bare earthly colours such as oranges, yellows and browns. His vision doesn’t not generally seek to find places of natural purity and tranquillity but to document land in the stages of transformation or change.

Exploring the Residual Landscape

Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.

These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.

Edward Burtynsky

In reflection of his own practice, Burtynsky discusses a dialogue of ideas that I find a great deal of creative inspiration from. We as humans feel compelled to keep grow, develop and consume through our reliance upon natural resources regardless of the repercussions that resound within nature.  Again, we meet this conflict that distinguishes man and nature, driven by a desire for economic growth and an obligation to preserve what is lost throughout this process.

I have highlighted various previous bodies of work upon Burtynsky’s site that I found to be inspirational within my own interests in landscape photography.


Uranium Tailings #5
Elliot Lake, Ontario 1995
Nickel Tailings #31
Sudbury, Ontario 1996
Nickel Tailings #30
Sudbury, Ontario 1996
Uranium Tailings #12
Elliot Lake, Ontario 1995
Rock of Ages #1
Active Section, E.L. Smith Quarry, Barre, Vermont, USA, 1991
Rock of Ages #7
Active Section, E.L. Smith Quarry, Barre, Vermont, USA, 1991
Rock of Ages #33
Abandoned Section, Rock of Ages Quarry, Vermont, USA, 1991
Carrara Marble Quarries # 24 & 25
Carrara, Italy, 1993
Iberia Quarries #2
Marmorose EFA Co., Bencatel, Portugal, 2006
Mines #22
Kennecott Copper Mine, Bingham Valley, Utah 1983
Mines #13
Inco – Abandoned Mine Shaft Crean Hill Mine, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, 1984
Silver Lake Operations #1
Lake Lefroy, Western Australia, 2007
Tailings #1
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, 2007

His latest project offers a slightly different aesthetic in regards to colour and follows many of the core aspects I want to encapsulate within my own work but upon a much larger scale, offering an incredibly detailed and grand point of view. I found an article relating to this in design boom, an architecture, art and design publication.

edward burtynsky water photography

xiaolangdi dam #1, 2011
yellow river, henan province, china
chromogenic print
image courtesy of edward burtynsky/nicholas metivier gallery

edward burtynsky: water
nicholas metivier gallery, toronto
september 5 – october 12, 2013

beginning september 5th, 2013, canadian photographer edward burtynsky will be presenting a series of images titled ‘water’ at nicholas metivier gallery in toronto. throughout the body of work, burtynsky personifies water, exposing its vulnerability, capability, and power. juxtaposing these visuals, in other images from the set, is the complete absence of water, focusing instead on the consequence of its deficiency. each shot carries the viewer through a complex sojourn — encompassed in rugged landscapes, complex patterns formed by icy rivers, and thick swarms of bathers flocking to the sea. the project documents the world’s water supplies, spotlighting the burden that manufacturing and consumption bear on earth’s natural resources.

‘water’ will include large-format photographs and moving film, and will be accompanied by burtynsky’s fifth book, ‘burtynsky – water’. below is the trailer for ‘watermark’, what will be a feature-length documentary, co-directed by jennifer baichwal and edward burtynsky, that will be released by mongrel media in canada in fall of 2013:

the series is factioned into groups, articulating water’s role in each image. burtynsky spotlights agriculture, as one category, which represents the largest human activity upon the planet — approximately seventy percent of all fresh water under our control is dedicated to agricultural activity. the images presented of dryland farming in rural spain and pivot irrigation in the suburbs of arizona, chronicle the fascinating effects of human interaction with nature. the photos that make up ‘water’ were shot in ten different countries. burtynsky approached each landscape from a unique perspective. for his captures, he used helicopters, both actual and remote controlled, and small aircrafts, ascending into the air to achieve a powerful sense of scale and space.

marine aquaculture #1, 2012
luoyuan bay, fujian province, china
image courtesy of edward burtynsky

veronawalk, 2012
naples, florida, USA
image courtesy of edward burtynsky

greenhouses, 2010
almira peninsula, spain
chromogenic print
image courtesy of edward burtynsky/nicholas metivier gallery

dryland farming #2, 2010
monegros county, aragon, spain
chromogenic print
image courtesy of edward burtynsky/nicholas metivier gallery

thjorsa river #1, 2012
chromogenic print
image courtesy of edward burtynsky/nicholas metivier gallery

navajo reservation / suburb, 2011
phoenix, arizona, USA
chromogenic print
image courtesy of edward burtynsky/nicholas metivier gallery

pivot irrigation, 2011
suburb, south of yuma, arizona, USA
image courtesy of edward burtynsky

I also referred to his official site for further clarity upon the range of images involved within this project, all of which are intensely distinctive and beautiful in their representation of their focused subject matter. Burtynsky goes to great lengths to offer us a perspective of the earth’s water sources unlike anything I’ve seen before, merging a sense of grandeur and forewarning with his intentions. With this, we gain a greater idea of the sheer extent of water, its geographical attributes and significance, its usage and transformation through industry and agriculture, its consumption and interaction with various life forms, as well as the scale of demand placed upon it.

Oil Spill #1
REM Forza, Gulf of Mexico, May 11, 2010
Oil Spill #5
Q4000 Drilling Platform, Gulf of Mexico, June 24, 2010
Oil Spill #10
Oil Slick at Rip Tide, Gulf of Mexico, June 24, 2010
Oil Spill #15
Submerged Pipeline, Gulf of Mexico, June 24, 2010
Alberta Oil Sands #14
Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, 2007
Owens Lake #1
California, USA, 2009
Phosphor Tailings Ponds #3
Polk County, Florida, USA, 2012
Phosphor Tailings Pond #2
Polk County, Florida, USA, 2012
Polders, Grootschermer
The Netherlands, 2011
Salinas #2
Cádiz, Spain, 2013
Benidorm #1
Spain, 2010
I have found this area of research to be very helpful in gaining contextual and aesthetic insight into a respected landscape practitioner and topically relevant project.
I will continue my research.