Project facts

Project coordinator: Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen (NETHERLANDS)
Project consortium: Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen (NETHERLANDS); University of Bradford, Bradford (UK); University College Cork, Cork (Ireland)
Funding bodies: JPI CH
Subject areas: Changing environments, Climate Change, Cultural Landscapes, Intangible Heritage, Natural Heritage, Tangible Heritage


Wetland environments are amongst the most dynamic landscape types in Europe, experiencing changes in climatic, demographic, economic and political influences. They have also been an area of human utilization and exploitation for millennia, resulting in an incredible richness and diversity of tangible and intangible heritage.

Wetlands across Europe, and around the world, are actively undergoing rapid change and development, but there are no tailor-made or proactive studies to identify the impacts of change on the heritage contained within wetlands.

The WETFUTURES project focuses on key wetland environments in Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to act as test cases for the identification of active and passive changes in those regions and to identify ways in which the heritage of wetlands can contribute to contemporary social challenges.

Through a combination of ethnographic survey, literature review, map regression analysis, remote survey and public and stakeholder interaction, the research will identify changing perceptions of wetland heritage, changing attitudes towards wetland utilization, and changing physical conditions within the environments which may influence the longer-term survival of wetland heritage.

Impacts & Results

Recent years have seen the potential role of wetlands as valuable eco-services systems in terms of water management, flood alleviation, and carbon sequestration. This drive can often occur in direct conflict with local populace perceptions of heritage and access to wetland resources.

Negotiating and reconciling the rights and perceptions of the local, national and international populace is one of the key aspects that will be addressed within the research program.


Banner: "Tinchi Tamba Wetlands" by Brisbane City Council is licensed with CC BY 2.0.