SEPA leads on creative engagement project in flood risk community

21st June 2019

On World Music Day (Friday 21st June) we launch the exciting outputs from 'The Burnie Journey' an exciting new example of creative community engagement.

Over winter 2018-2019, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Creative Carbon Scotland, with support from Aberdeen City Council, collaborated to deliver a project on arts-based community engagement with a focus on flood preparation and awareness in the Den Burn Valley in Aberdeen.

Unlike traditional forms of public engagement, this project sought the skills and expertise of musician, Simon Gall, to design and facilitate a number of workshops on flooding and flood risk management in the local community on behalf of SEPA.

Workshops were held with Fernielea Primary School’s P6 Class (ages 9-10) to explore how the Council is managing flooding of their local burn and how to prepare for flooding, using music and sound to reinforce the key messages.

On working with the Primary 6 class, Simon Gall said:

“It’s been heartening to see the children engaging so enthusiastically with the Denburn and flooding issues more generally. I think our hands-on, creative learning approach to the topic is key. The children use their creative skills to process and convert fairly pedestrian information – gathered first-hand – into something unique and memorable. I hope the experience leaves a lasting impression on them while also leaving some lovely creative work for others to use and enjoy.”

This type of approach has the potential to be used by Scotland’s other flood authorities , businesses or multi-stakeholder projects looking for more meaningful and exciting ways to engage communities in important issues, like flooding and climate action.

To learn more about this approach and its benefits, visit SEPA’s Floodline Scotland website to access the project report, videos and podcast. This project forms part of Creative Carbon Scotland’s culture/SHIFT project which supports cultural and sustainability practitioners to explore new ways of working together to address complex problems and bring about transformational change.

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We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.


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Supported by

Edinburgh Festival City Edinburgh Festival City

A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City Federation of Scottish Theatre Scottish Contemporary Art Network