Making Waves Project
Making Waves (www.makingwavesproject.org.uk/) was a marine project all about public engagement and learning. It has been delivered through a partnership of two Wildlife Trusts; Hampshire & Isle of Wight and Sussex and focussed on the coastline of those two counties between 2012 and 2015.
Resources for Change was commissioned to undertake the final evaluation of Making Waves which has involved meeting with the project team, interviewing key stakeholders and evaluation of activity recording and feedback forms. The Evaluation report was completed in November 2015 and in summary showed the following:
The monitoring figures provided an estimate of the number of people who have been engaged by the project in one capacity or another, be it as volunteers, pupils, family groups or website users, this figure is in the region of 125,000 people.
The stand out activity was the Schools Outreach programme which engaged 20,000 children and has developed a number of innovative approaches such as undersea explorers and swimming pool based explorations of the sea, which have been well received by the schools.
A key learning outcome for the project has been the importance of repeat engagement in creating a lasting impact on those involved.
It is however, not all about numbers and Making Ways has clearly had an impact in other ways; it’s created links between a wide range of Marine organisations, it’s provided the time and resources to develop and test out new approaches, approaches which, like Wild Beach, are already having an impact beyond the project. It has also influenced a wider range of organisations and individuals ranging from the school that changed the way it delivers the curriculum to the child inspired enough by their boat trip to want to become a Marine Biologist.
At the end of a project like this the question of legacy always looms large. The project has shown that there is a considerable interest in the marine and coastal environment among the public on the south coast of England and there is appetite among the project partners to tap into this. The Making Waves project has shown ways that this might be done and perhaps its real legacy is that it has shown that engagement on the seashore and in marine habitats is possible, can have lasting impact and seems to resonate with many people.
If you would like more information please contact Mike