ARCHIVE: Case studies
Across the country, there are already lots of examples of adaptation activities that are taking place. Here you can read case studies of adaptation in action.
On this page:
Manor Field District Park
A new district park in Sheffield is the result of work between Sheffield City Council and partners to transform derelict land into an inspiring, safe and welcoming space for residents and visitors.
A new housing development on the adjacent regeneration site presented opportunities to explore adapting the traditional drainage system. This led to the development of a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) designed by Robert Bray Associates, removing the need for engineered below-ground structures and allowing natural processes to occur.
The new drainage system functioned as designed during the floods of summer 2007 reducing the impact that runoff from the site might have had on the River Don. The design of the SUDS scheme included a basin that acted primarily as community open space doubling as a 1 in 100-year flood basin. It held back the flood water from entering the river system and within four days the area was being used as the base for a community activity.
The innovative approach taken by Sheffield City Council's Environmental planning and Landscape Design Team in the development of Manor Fields has resulted in an environment which is well adapted to prospective climate scenarios, as well as reducing the city's impact on future climate change.
For further information please see:
The Thames Estuary 2100 Project
Thames Estuary 2100 (TE2100) is an Environment Agency project to develop a tidal flood risk management plan for the Thames Estuary through to the end of this century. Using the latest climate change scenarios and models, and taking account of future sea level rise, the final plan will recommend what flood risk management measures will be required in the Estuary, where they will be needed, and when they will need to be in place by.
The final plan will also be flexible to ensure that it can be adapted if sea levels rise faster, or storm surges become more intense than anticipated.
Preliminary findings show that the Thames Barrier, with some adaptation, will continue to provide protection through to the end of the century. However, by 2050 we may need to improve many of the flood defence walls and embankments, and create new inter-tidal habitats to offset the impact of rising sea levels before 2030.
Further information: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/te2100
The mansion at Grey's Court is a Grade 1 listed building near Henley on Thames, which attracts around 25,000 visitors per year. Its condition has been deteriorating due to water penetration and timber decay. Climate change means that this deterioration is getting more severe.
Any alteration to a Listed Building requires consent from English Heritage, and their concern will be to ensure that the overall historic integrity and character of the structure is not compromised.
It was agreed to adapt the building to make it more watertight and resilient in the face of climate change. A roof renovation project was carried out, replacing timbers and leadwork without compromising the overall historic integrity and character of the structure.
At the same time, this work may also help protect Grey's Court against future climate change, because it will improve thermal efficiency within the building.
"Rollback" of coastal caravan park
The East Riding Coastal Zone, stretching from Flamborough Head to Spurn Point, has one of the fastest eroding coastlines in North West Europe. The coastline is one of the region's key environmental assets and the caravan park is an important tourist destination.
With the need to have a sustainable approach to maintaining the viability of the caravan industry on this coastline, the concept of "rollback" was developed by the local authority, Environment Agency and caravan park owners.
Rollback looks at how caravan parks can physically move further inland away from the threat of coastal erosion whilst improving the quality of the local environment and sustaining the communities which are dependent on coastal tourism. Partners such as the Local Planning Authority have looked at the implications of re-locating the parks, and have developed guidelines, standards and policies within which any moves can be made.
The programme has, so far, been a major success. Visitors to the coast have access to better quality tourism facilities and they will also be able to enjoy a higher quality natural environment. Rollback is now a tried and tested approach to reducing the risk of coastal erosion that can be applied to other coastal areas.
The redevelopment of Redhill School, Worcestershire is one of the first in England (if not the first) to have a climate change impact assessment carried out from the start of the design process.
The �2.7 million project involves a replacement primary school on the site of the former 1960s building. The school aims to have a low carbon building that is able to cope with climate change and will provide a comfortable teaching environment over its lifetime.
Some of the adaptation features of the school to help it to withstand climate change impacts include:
- a sustainable urban drainage scheme using swales, ponds and underground box storage.
- a rainwater harvesting scheme, used for flushing toilets, takes rain from approximately half the roof area. Other roof areas have a planted roof finish (sedum) to reduce run-off.
- extra shade for pupils and teachers, provided by overhanging eaves and external canopies to the classrooms.
- zinc sheet roof coverings, with standing seams, that may be less vulnerable to high winds than roofing tiles.
Species adapting to climate change
A study by RSPB and Aberystwyth, Manchester and Newcastle Universities is exploring if climate change will have a negative effect on populations of golden plovers breeding on upland moors and peatlands and whether simple measures could help them adapt.
In golden plovers, growth and survival of chicks depends on abundance of cranefly prey. Warmer springs may change the timing of both golden plover nesting and cranefly emergence, and are predicted to cause small reductions in breeding success.
Ongoing research suggests a more severe consequence of climate change may occur through summer warming. When August temperatures are high, cranefly larvae may desiccate as peatland dries out.
This means that in the next year, fewer craneflies emerge, resulting in low golden plover chick survival. Subsequently, declines in the population are being seen in the following year.
Drainage ditches on peatland are being blocked to restore habitat condition and promote ecosystem services of water management and carbon storage.
Raising water levels may also increase the resilience of cranefly populations to future warming. This active management of the peat bog could be a simple way to help these two species adapt to the impacts of climate change
For further information please see www.rspb.org.uk.
Page last modified: 23 October 2008
Page published: 24 July 2008