The Solway Estuary: a socio-cultural evaluation of a coastal energy landscape

Darrell Smith, Ian Convery, Valentina Bold, Billy Sinclair

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Seascapes have long been valued by society for many reasons. The introduction of offshore wind farming places a new component in to the seascape structure adding to the ways in which seascapes can be valued. However, the associated physical and experiential change may cause conflict with established sociocultural,ecological and economic values and perceptions of value. In this report we show that, with respect to the Robin Rigg wind turbine array, issues of climate change and renewable energy technologies residents of the Solway estuary express a pragmatic approach to offshore wind provision. Individual expressions of socio-cultural, ecological and economic value reflect connections and dependence, tangible and intangible, between the physical and ecological form of the seascape and the daily activities of coastal communities. Connection in this sense is not only place specific but also acknowledges
society as a reflexive and purposeful component of a dynamic natural world. Change is considered a constant in this dynamic world view. However, participants’ views are characterised by thoughts of fairness, where both the costs and benefits associated with actions needed to address climate change are shared equally by society as a whole. Understanding these relationships requires an approach designed to draw out individual, community, environmental, visual, physical and spiritual dimensions of connections built around place. The explicit inclusion of individual narratives, across a wide range of stakeholders, captures the bond that develops between society and the natural world from a living-in-place perspective and gives voice to expressions of self that articulate;
environmental connections, community connections, functional connections, and personal connections.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDumfries
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Publication series

NameSolway Centre Research Reports
PublisherUniversity of Glasgow, Solway Centre


  • Solway Estuary
  • seascapes
  • society
  • socio-cultural values


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