The UK Climate Resilience Programme ran from 2019 to 2023

Time and Tide: Resilience, Adaptation, Art

This collaborative project investigates how the arts can catalyse communities to act – and become more resilient – as climate change intensifies and socio-economic inequalities increase.


The impacts of sea level rise, flooding, and erosion on coastal communities are often dramatic, and they will be more so in the future. One of the aims of the creative initiative Time and Tide Bell is to inspire us to act on climate change.

Time and Tide Bell is a permanent, multi-site installation of cast bronze sculptural bells. Designed by artist Marcus Vergette in collaboration with sound designer and specialist in acoustic and auditory modelling, Prof Neil Mclauchlan (University of Melbourne), the bells are constructed such that the action of tidal waves causes them to ring in harmonious tones. The first bell was installed at Appledore, Devon in 2009, and six more followed (Bosta Beach, Lewis; Aberdyfi, Gynedd; Trinity Buoy, London; Cemaes Bay, Anglesey; Morecambe Bay, Lancashire; and Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire). More bells will be installed around the British coast in the coming months and years.


Corinna Wagner, of the University of Exeter’s English Department, is partnered with Tide and Time Bell in order to test co-creative ‘transitional arts practices’. These types of projects inspire communities to act: artwork is a catalyst for debate, protest, and action. Together, we are developing activities and events that explore how place-based narratives, regional histories, local traditions and cultural heritage can facilitate renewal and resilience in disadvantaged seaside towns, particularly those negatively impacted by economic austerity, the decline of industry and tourism, and especially, environmental damage.  We will deepen our understanding about how creativity can enhance health and well-being while helping us to develop resilient coastal communities.


  • Exhibitions on the theme of tidelines, coasts, and communities: developed in partnership with Artizan Gallery (Torquay), Maketank (Exeter), Studio KIND, (Braunton, North Devon), and the Thelma Hulbert Gallery (Honiton).
  • Performances of ‘On the Strandline’, with physical theatre group Prodigal UPG in Brixham and Exeter.
  • Public events including spoken word performances and creative writing workshops
  • Publication of a catalogue that will feature creative writing and artists’ work on the theme of water and climate change, and photobook documenting changing coastal landscapes and ways of living in bell site communities.
  • Publication that will share findings on the role of creativity and the arts in facing climate change crises in communities.