Laura and Jacob took part in a one-week research micro-internship in June 2021, hosted by the University of Oxford National Trust Partnership in collaboration with the International National Trusts Organisation.
Laura: I’m a second-year geographer with a passionate interest in climate change - I seek out opportunities to work with my knowledge on climate change in the real world across a range of sectors, with heritage of particular interest currently! I find it inspiring to see the range of approaches taken towards climate change action within heritage projects, and the increasing community involvement and campaigning.
Jacob: I'm a fourth year Earth Scientist keen to explore how our understanding of the climate system can be used to inform projects using vast regions of heritage land across the globe in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Of particular interest to me has been how Trusts from a range of environments have looked to improve the efficiency of biological carbon sequestration.
Across our week working with INTO and the National Trust -
- We conducted research into INTO member climate change actions, to gain an understanding of the variety of approaches taken.
- Those who had responded to emails informing them of our research were focused on and contacted. We furthered this contact by setting up calls with some INTO members to gain a deeper understanding of some of the projects operating, as we faced difficulties in accessing this sort of information online through conventional search methods.
- We collated the desk-based and interview research into a database and summary report.
The week was rewarding, because through spoken and email communication, INTO partners revealed the higher than ever community interest in heritage protection and climate change work. It was inspiring to hear the tales of those working in the sector for a long time, and continue to undertake this crucial work.
Our favourite aspects of this work include the variety of approaches - this has been valuable to see! The Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) is an invaluable and accessible tool for Trusts to evaluate the outcomes of potential uses of natural sites.
With thanks to those we worked with throughout the week - in particular Catherine Leonard (INTO) and Alice Purkiss and and Hanna Smyth (Oxford National Trust Partnership). We would also like to thank those who gave their time in replying and in particular those we spoke to - Mike Jervois and Kara Newport.
We hope this work showcases the variety of approaches that can be undertaken in this sector - and that working towards climate resilience is very possible! We also hope that as everyone is on this journey towards a climate influenced future (whether or not we planned to be!) this work highlights actions and partners who can learn from each other. Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any further questions!
Find out more about the National Trust Partnership here.
Find out more about the TORCH Heritage Programme here.