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CHERISH (Climate, Heritage and Environments of Reefs, Islands, and Headlands)

“CHERISH is a truly cross-disciplinary project. It aims to raise awareness and understanding of the past, present and near-future impacts of climate change, storminess, and extreme weather events on the rich cultural heritage of the Irish and Welsh regional seas and coast. We will be employing innovative techniques to study some of the most iconic coastal locations in Ireland and Wales.

The four main aims of CHERISH are to:

  • Target data and knowledge gaps to raise awareness of heritage in these remote coastal locations.
  • Discover, assess, map and monitor heritage on land and beneath the sea and establish new baseline data and recording standards.
  • Link land and sea.
  • Reconstruct past environments and weather history.

CHERISH will work with communities and will widely disseminate the results and best practice for future climate change adaptation.”

“The main objective of CHERISH is to increase capacity and knowledge of climate change adaptation for the Irish Sea and Coastal communities. This will be achieved through the nine CHERISH Initiatives (CI).”

“Over the 5 years of investment the project will deliver the following 8 Ultimate Changes:

1 A stimulus for encouraging local tourism and growth in the Blue economy. CHERISH will provide new coastal heritage information and innovative products, enabling enhanced cultural tourism for the study sites and raised awareness of the historic environment in selected communities.

2 Improved evidence base for statutory protection, decision-making and adaptation strategies, informing protection for historic environment assets from climate change at all levels, from local communities through to Government.

3 Increased knowledge and awareness of heritage assets on the previously understudied remote reefs, islands and headlands across the Irish Sea, evidenced through-newly created and enhanced Historic Environment Records, field intervention with scientific dating and analysis, programmes of citizen science and outreach activities (including walks, talks, training days, workshops and excavation) and new informative resources that will be disseminated.

4 New, detailed, multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental records from selected locations following an initial survey of existing data and assessment of potential sites. Multi-proxy datasets will be made publicly available and information disseminated through a combination of academic papers, reports and outreach activities. Information on historical weather extremes will be incorporated into an existing database being developed as part of current Arts Heritage Research Council funded research.

5 Provision of open-access, accurate and high resolution baseline geomatic data, which enables the enhanced modelling and evaluation of risk to cultural heritage sites

and landscapes with respect to coastal erosion, flooding and additional environmental pressures. This will include inshore seabed mapping consistent with and joined up to the onshore terrestrial mapping coverage. Data produced will address knowledge gaps which exist across the study area, and will be provided free online via a dedicated web portal and also via existing national and EU sites/portals.

6 New joint-nation best practice guidance for standardising the recording and monitoring of the impact of climate change on terrestrial and marine heritage assets to inform agencies, statutory bodies and Government and inform adaptive strategies.

7 Innovative data capture, modelling and visualisation products, to raise knowledge and awareness of the historic environment and climate change to include integration of project data within open access shared spatial data infrastructure (SDI) to enable full reuse of all datasets across and beyond the operation across Europe including via the EU Climate-ADAPT Platform.

8 Identification of “at risk” cultural heritage sites within the research area and the production of mitigation and conservation guidance plans for their future management and protection.”