Skip to main content

NECR520 Art in Support of Changing Coastal Environment (NECR520)

Natural England commissioned this study by Coastal Geotechnical Services to investigate how historical landscape paintings, drawings and prints can support existing technologies in terms of informing us of the rate, scale and pace of coastal change. The study benefited from the contributions of several auctions houses and art galleries.

The case studies and annotated art images provided in this report suggest locations where habitat management has proved to work successfully. The study also shows sites where climate change and development pressures pose existing or potential challenges. Numerous early artworks depict the open coast before defences were constructed and seafronts started to develop showing where there may be potential for habitat creation by removing anthropogenic pressures. Additionally, this report showed that some of the artworks produced over the last 200 years are so topographically accurate that they can support both qualitative and quantitative studies of cliff and beach change over time.

Sources of available artwork were explored; artists were given a rating to show how accurate their depiction of the coastline was. The list of English coastal artists, ranked for accuracy, produced as part of this study will reduce the need for time-consuming research and allow website users to source artists who painted their locations of interest more easily.

This report shows how historic artwork can be used in management decisions and public engagement on habitat restoration projects on the coast by enhancing the storytelling of why habitat restoration may be needed and the potential outcomes of management.

Downloads available for this record

File Uploaded
NECR520 Edition 1 Art in Support of Changing Coastal Environment-v2, PDF, 9.0 MB 2023/12/19