Wetland Times

Morecambe Bay, the Wadden Sea, and the Congo Basin will allow an appreciation of the how different temporal narratives can be used to inform conservation and environmental education practices.
Project status

Time is central to conversations about climate change and conservation practice in the Anthropocene, which unsettles human narratives of progress, development, and freedom. But the accompanying prescription for ‘deep time’ and planetary thinking to solve ecological problems often threatens to dominate and overwrite the messy, locally-specific and culturally sensitive times that underpin the human relationship with nature.

This project, a collaboration with Dr Blake Ewing (University of Oxford), uses the 'temporal ecosystems' of three global wetland sites (Morecambe Bay, UK; the northern European Wadden Sea; and the Congo Basin peatlands) to investigate the different ways in which time is conceptualised, experienced, and described in these vulnerable and complex landscapes, and show how productive use of (dis)ordered, multiple temporalities can be made.

Findings will inform conservation and environmental education practices across these three sites by enriching understanding of time in the Anthropocene, empowering communities to reconsider prevailing temporal narratives, and facilitating knowledge exchange between wetland research and visitor centres.

Principal Investigator: Professor Nicola Thomas, Lancaster University

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