The Severn Estuary Annual Forum

Friday the 11th of September 2009
Guildhall, Gloucester

The 2009 Severn Estuary Forum was held on Friday the 11th of September at Gloucester Guildhall, with over 150 delegates attending the event, which focused on the upper estuary in the morning, and energy and climate change in the afternoon. Delegates were then treated to a short tour of Gloucester Docks, including a trip aboard ‘Queen Boadicea II’ which cruised along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

The Severn Estuary Partnership was welcomed to Gloucester by the Right Worshipful The Mayor of Gloucester, Councillor Chris Witts, who outlined the importance of the river Severn to Gloucester and expressed his pleasure that the city was hosting the Partnership’s Forum. Jonathan Mullard, Severn Estuary Partnership Manager then highlighted the current work and direction of the Partnership before thanking Cllr Witts for his kind hospitality. Cllr Witts then returned to offer amusing real life tales of the river Severn from over the past 30 years!

Dr. Paul Leinster CBE, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency delivered the Keynote Address, which focused on the importance of working in partnership for the good of the common resource. Dr Leinster discussed the complexity of issues, pressures and conflicts on the estuary which bring us together and the challenges presented by cross boundary working. Various topics relating to the Severn Estuary and partnership working were discussed including industry, policy, community, energy, flood risk and funding structures.

Chris Oldershaw, Chief Executive of Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company concluded the mornings proceedings with an informative presentation highlighting the regeneration of Gloucester Docks. Chris explained that Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company had been in operation for 4 years and focused on the heritage of Gloucester. Four case studies were then used to illustrate the developments (and future) to Gloucester Docks and the surrounding area.

The afternoon session offered delegates the chance to focus on energy creation around the estuary and the potential impacts of Climate Change. Dr. Hance Smith of Cardiff University offered a short introduction to the need of an integrated approach to Estuary Management. Dr. Smith went on to explain how he felt the Severn Estuary was an ‘Energy Estuary’ with numerous energy creation schemes from conventional power station to nuclear power station and renewables all being considered/operated in and around the Severn.

Juliet Austin from the Department of Energy and Climate Change presented an update into the progress of the Governments Feasibility Study into Severn Tidal Power. This was followed by Hugh Hutton, EDF Energy, who outlined the Hinkley Point New Nuclear Build proposal. Stuart Hayward-Higham, Technical Director SITA UK then took the stage to discuss the proposal of a Severnside Energy Recovery Centre. Finally Dr. Rhoda Ballinger of Cardiff University brought the formal proceedings to a close with an informative talk centred around the European IMCORE project; which aims to promote a transnational, innovative and sustainable approach to reducing the impacts of climate change on coastal resources. A healthy discussion into energy creation and the impacts of climate change on the Severn Estuary followed.

The Speaker's full PowerPoint presentations can now be viewed below and further analysis of the event will follow in due course.

Initial feedback from the event indicates that delegates had a rewarding and enjoyable day, learning about the resources the estuary has to offer and the need to work together towards a sustainable future. The Severn Estuary Partnership would like to thank the Sponsors of the 2009 Forum, the speakers and all those who help to make the event a success. Should you wish to find out more about the event or feedback on the day please do not hesitate to contact the Partnership office.

Severn Estuary Forum 2009 PowerPoint Presentations

Introduction and Master Presentation

Severn Estuary Partnership - Jonathan Mullard

Environment Agency - Paul Leinster

Gloucester Heritage Urban Renewal Company - Chris Oldershaw

Wider Severn Estuary - Hance Smith

Department of Energy and Climate Change - Juliet Austin

EDF Energy - Hugh Hutton

SITA - Stuart Hayward-Higham

IMCORE - Rhoda Ballinger

For photos of this event, follow this link: Severn Estuary Forum 2009 Flickr Group

The Severn Estuary Forum is the annual event for everyone interested in the Severn Estuary and its future. The main theme this year was the management of the upper estuary. The Forum produced a lively day of formal and informal presentations and talks, as well as an opportunity for a walking tour of Gloucester Docks and Quays, and an optional boat trip along the river.

We were very pleased that this year’s event was formally launched by The Right Worshipful The Mayor of Gloucester, Councillor Chris Witts. Chris is a great advocate for the Severn, having published several books celebrating the river and he speaks regularly about his working life in the area.

The Partnership was also delighted to have Dr Paul Leinster, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, as the Keynote Speaker for the 2009 Forum. The Agency is a key organisation in the management of the Severn Estuary and Paul shared with us his thoughts on the issues affecting the area and how the Partnership can contribute to its sustainable management.

The Forum is open to everyone, whether you represent an organisation, live in the area, or simply enjoy visiting. It is a unique opportunity to learn from others, share your views and participate in the management of the Severn Estuary.

Further Details: Programme and Booking Form

Origin of the Forum

The strategy for the Severn Estuary (2001) identified the need for an annual Forum. The 1st Severn Estuary Forum, hosted by the Severn Estuary Partnership, took place in 2006. The Forum continues to provide delegates from around the Severn Estuary with an opportunity to hear from a wide range of excellent speakers from informed debate on current issues. The Severn Estuary Forum brings together people from all interests and backgrounds to work together for the future of the Severn Estuary. Representatives from government, industry and communities are invited to discuss common interests. The Forum is an excellent opportunity to consider regional and local implications of issues which are under the spotlight nationally and internationally. Participants benefit from the chance to:

  • Meet people with similar and different interests in the estuary
  • Debate topical issues and learn something new about the Severn Estuary
  • Share information and promote awareness of your interests

The Forum also informs and guides the work of the Severn Estuary Partnership, which works all year round to encourage people to work together, through a wide range of services and projects.



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