Over winter 2018-2019, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Creative Carbon Scotland, with support from Aberdeen City Council, collaborated to deliver a project on arts-based engagement with a focus on flood preparation and awareness in the Den Burn Valley in Aberdeen. Unlike traditional forms of public engagement, this project sought the skills and expertise of musician, Simon Gall, to design and facilitate a number of workshops on flooding and flood risk management in the local community on behalf of SEPA.

Workshops were held with Fernielea Primary School’s P6 Class (ages 9-10) to explore how the Council is managing flooding of their local burn and how to prepare for flooding, using music and sound to reinforce the key messages. On working with the Primary 6 class, Simon Gall said: "It's been heartening to see the children engaging so enthusiastically with the Denburn and flooding issues more generally. I think our hands-on, creative learning approach to the topic is key. The children use their creative skills to process and convert fairly pedestrian information - gathered first-hand - into something unique and memorable. I hope the experience leaves a lasting impression on them while also leaving some lovely creative work for others to use and enjoy."

This creative type of approach has the potential to be used by Scotland’s other flood authorities, including local councils, businesses or multi-stakeholder projects looking for more meaningful and exciting ways to engage communities in important issues, like flooding and climate action. Find out more about this approach and its benefits and get access the project report, videos and podcast.