Weather walks, weather talks: exploring popular climate histories and futures

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Geography


With the additional resources we propose to undertake the following activities:
Extension to contract for Dr Lucy Veale, PDRA for 4 months part time (50%). Dr Veale's continued appointment will enable the following activities to be administered and accomplished.
Field-based testing of the 'Weather Walks' mobile phone application: The technical work carried out during the existing project has been experimental in nature. Extra time and a modest amount of funding would allow us to expand the testing of the application from our own small 'on site' and office-based tests to a larger multi user study in the field. The field testing group is likely to be recruited from local membership of the Royal Geographical Society- with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) and/ or members of amateur meteorology and enthusiast groups such as Climatological Observers Link (COL), an existing community of amateur weather observers (with whom Endfield and Veale have links through previous project work). The test would be publicised through the media channels of partner organisations the Royal Meteorological Society and the RGS-IBG, and would be designed to hold value for the 'Discovering Britain' initiative of the RGS-IBG in exploring the potential for a mobile phone application to be rolled out across the project, covering walks nationwide. The team are also looking into whether it may be possible for our app to be made available for free download from the app store.
Preparation of papers and presentations for key conference presentations: As the project has progressed we have begun to explore issues relating to the translation of archival materials into digital forms. This is a particularly innovative arena which would lend itself to academic papers and conference presentations. A paper would also be presented at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference in 2013, as part of a session that Georgina Endfield, Lucy Veale and Gary Priestnall would organise in association with Dr Jenny Lunn ('Discovering Britain' Project Manager).
Workshop: A one day 'Talking Weather' pre RGS-IBG conference workshop is proposed, for the Summer / Autumn of 2013. The intention would be to discuss the use of different methodologies and approaches to explore weather memories and experiences. Together, the two experiments adopted in the original proposal make use of archival records, personal reflections, and experiences recorded through oral histories and digital media sources. The purpose would be to discuss these approaches with representatives of academic and non-academic communities, meteorological organisations, members of the public involved in the 'weather talks and weather walk', professional meteorologists, students and researchers (15-20 people in total). The workshop would also be timely, marking as it does 60 years since Gordon Manley, the focus of the Weather walk, first published the longest historical temperature series based directly on thermometer readings, thee Central England Temperature series, in 1953.
Key Milestones
Activities would begin in February 2013 as a direct continuation of the current project. The field-test of the mobile phone application would take place in early spring to take advantage of improving weather and to allow the greatest time possible for refining the application.
The RGS-IBG conference will take place in London between 28-30th August 2013, but the organisation of the session will begin in late winter/ early spring while the PDRA is employed on the project. The session will be framed to fit the conference theme of 'New Geographical Frontiers'. The CHI Conference takes place in late April 2014 (just outside the specified 'end date') although the abstract of the paper will be prepared at the close of the project to be ready for an October 2013 submission.
The "Talking Weather" methods workshop would be held in summer 2013 as a pre-RGS-IBG conference. Preparations for this need to be completed by Spring 2013.
Added Value to Current Project
The existing project will (by its completion in February 2013), have produced a guided audio walk around the Great Dun Fell area of the North Pennines with an accompanying mobile phone application in prototype format. Extra resources would enable the coordination of further testing (by an independent user group) and development of this application into an app that could be freely available to download from the android app store. The roll out of this app to the other 'Discovering Britain' walks would also be explored with RGS-IBG. Preparation of conference papers for both geography and computer-science conferences would enable the project seem to distribute the research more widely in academic circles, whilst also refining written papers based on the research completed. The session on 'Discovering Britain' would bring together authors of a number of the walks to share experiences and discuss ideas for future use. The pre conference workshop at the RGS-IBG would enable us to engage more members of the public in the research project, involving them in the memory bank and furthering public understanding of meteorology.
Description This project sought to investigate popular engagement with weather and climate through two distinctive weather-related experiments: 1) the production of a public 'Weather Memory Bank' of recordings hosted by the Royal Meteorological Society, based on personalised experiences of weather events and popular perceptions of climate change and 2) researching, producing and trialling an audio "weather walk" up Great Dun Fell, Cumbria based on the work of 20th-century British climatologist, Gordon Manley. Both initiatives built on themes that emerged from work funded through the previous AHRC network, specifically the need to engage a diverse range of publics in climate discourses and the value of historicising climate debates to explore how the past can be used in the construction of narratives of change that help people understand and imagine what future climate might be like.
Exploitation Route The weather memory bank is a public resource as is the Discovering Britain walk. It is hoped that these sources will help engage a variety of audiences in contemporay debates over weather and climate
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

Description We produced a publically available and downloads guided walk for the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) initiative: Discovering Britain. This was based on 20th century climatologist and his work on Great Dun Fell, Cumbria. The content of our walk informed the development of a BBC programme celebrating the anniversary of the Pennine Way. Paul Greenan, the producer of the BBC programme, which was called 'Pennine Way', and which was aired in 2015, sent us the following quote: "The background research work on the Helm Wind was a great help to us as programme makers. This weather phenomenon was a story that we were really keen to tell, and we knew the audience on BBC2 would find fascinating. Great Dun Fell - and the Helm Wind - plays a big part in the history and folklore of the Pennine Way. Anyone who's been in this part of the North Pennines while the wind is howling will be only too well aware of its damaging qualities. Thankfully, with John Kettley's expertise and the work done by the guys at Nottingham University for the RGS weather walks - we could explain how Gordon Manley was able to pin point the factors that create the Helm Wind and why it can have such devastating consequences for walkers, farmers and people living in the Eden Valley. "
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Education,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

Description Partnership/ Collaboration 
Organisation Royal Meteorological Society
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution Partnership with Royal Meteorological Society- a learned and professional Society on the Cultural Spaces of Climate project and the follow up project, Weatherwalks, weather talks..'
Start Year 2010
Description Royal Meteorological Society 
Organisation Royal Meteorological Society
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution We worked with the Royal Meteorological Society on the production of the Weather Memory Bank which allows people to view and respond to interviews about popular perceptions of weather and climate and climate change
Collaborator Contribution the Royal Meteorological Society facilitated the working relationship with the film company we used to produce the Weather Memory Bank and allowed us to showcase the work at the Royal Meteorological Society's inaugural Weather, Arts and Musical Festival, Reading 2012. The Weather Memory Bank is also hosted on the Royal Meteorological Society's website
Impact Endfield, G.H and Naylor, S. (2015) Climate and cultural heritage: an experiment with the 'Weather Memory Bank'. In: Harvey, D. and Perry, J. (eds.) The Future of Heritage as Climates Change: Loss, Adaptation and Creativity. Series: Key issues in cultural heritage. Routledge: 62-77.
Start Year 2012
Title Prototype app 
Description An trail app for smartphones entitles Weather walks to accompany the Weather Walk up Great Dun Fell 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2012 
Impact We are still trialling this 
Description Discovering Britain Audio walk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The audio walk has led to interest among different publics in the region that formed the focus of the walk- Great Dun Fell, Cumbria. We received press coverage in local and regional press and on local Radio with this work and has also led to interest in our current project on extreme weather.

We were invited to discuss the project on the BBC Radio programme, the Paul Hudson Weather Show. Various groups have shown interest in the walk and undertaken it - for example, members of the national Organisation, The Climatological Observers Link.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
Description Discovering Britain talk delivered at WCEH Portugal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The talk sparked lots of questions and discussions

More people expressed an interest in the Walk and the audio guide after the talk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
Description Leading Weather Walk 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Georgina Endfield and Lucy Veale are leading a guided walk based up Great Dun Fell, Cumbria on their Weather Walks, Weather Talks project. This is being conducted in collaboration with the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) in March 2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
Description Talk to Royal Meteorological Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk sparked questions and ideas

After the talk, members of the audience asked if they could be involved in the sharing of information for this and a later project on extreme weather
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014