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Fiona has worked for UK government, universities, charities and private sector organisations on projects concerned with climate change, biodiversity and community engagement.

Community Action for Wildlife Network
The aim of the project was to broker a network of local activist groups taking action for wildlife in their local area, with the objectives of delivering: volunteers equipped with skills and knowledge, and peer support within network, ensuring skills and knowledge are shared.

The project has mapped over 100 groups in Berks, Bucks and Oxon and collected 40 survey responses. It identified 25 supporting organisations and analysed their main approaches to group support. It also conducted a small number of interviews. This information was used to make five recommendations for a BBOWT community action for wildlife network including a Nature Summit in Spring 2021.
Image by Henning Westerkamp from Pixabay

(c) Fiona Hewer

Managing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity of nature reserves
While working as a Senior Biodiversity and Planning Officer at the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) Fiona has drafted a report on land management in a changing climate. It focuses on BBOWT's 80 nature reserves, and estimates their total carbon storage. The leadership team are invited to consider the extent to which, for different locations, habitats and species, their approach to the inevitable changes induced by climate change should be to celebrate, manage, tolerate, transfer, or cease. Strategies for managing the uncertainties in projecting future climate and ecosystem change are proposed.
Local Biodiversity Action Plan
Fiona is the founder and chair of a resident-lead charity to reverse biodiversity decline in Maidenhead and its surrounding villages and rural areas, Wild Maidenhead. This is a voluntary and unpaid role. Under her leadership the charity has published and is implementing a local biodiversity action plan. The project began with 'a state of nature' by a team of local specialists, Maidenhead's Nature Matters. It went on to identify 20 species for special focus, and key habitats for conservation action, in collaboration with local stakeholders. We conducted and mapped a Phase 1 habitat survey of the entire area - the Maidenhead side of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. The local biodiversity action plan has been published and is referenced in the Borough Local Plan (Submission Version). It includes 30 projects to be implemented over 5 years, and implementation is underway.

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

(c) Fiona Hewer Community self-help flood planning
During the time that Fiona served as a parish councillor in Cookham she delivered and supported, in an unpaid and voluntary capacity, a Community Self-help Flood Plan in collaboration with other local volunteers. She authored the report, and wrote a Flood Warnings blogspot that continues to provide live flooding information and background guidance and support information.

Membership development
Fiona has assisted the Institute of Physics to implement the Community Theme of its strategy 2015-2019. She has researched physics technicians the UK and Ireland culminating in a recommendation that IOP should become a Licensed Body for Registered Science Technicians. She subsequently delivered a membership model analysis for the Institute of Physics. The project's innovative use of member profiles enabled IOP officers and a small group of current members to explore new ideas. The project reviewed practices and stakeholder needs. It considered the barriers to membership throughout different careers and developed understanding of the value of membership. The ideas were introduced to a diverse group of members including academics, technicians, teachers and business managers from new and aspiring members to Honorary Fellows. This was just the start of IOP's consultation with members on how to create membership categories that can include all physicists.

Research data management strategy
The University of Oxford engaged Fiona to create a research data management strategy for the ARCC Network of adaptation and resilience to climate change projects. The projects are all concerned with the effects of climate change and other changes on the built environment and infrastructure, and are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. She worked with research councils, publishers, researchers, technologists and librarians to identify the incentives, opportunities, obstacles and resource gaps. Working as part of the UKCIP team at the Environmental Change Institute, she identified the key actions for researchers in the form of a checklist for authors. She helped ensure some project websites were archived.

Communicating climate research findings to policy-makers
The AVOIDing dangerous climate change final symposium at the Royal Society, February 2013, attracted over 100 scientists and stakeholders and included key note addresses from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and the Government Chief Scientist. As a member of the event steering group, Fiona supported event planning and organisation, led production of the programme results flyer, and produced other communications materials.

Analysing approaches to climate projection uncertainty
Green Templeton College (University of Oxford) invited Fiona to review a lecture series on Uncertainty as part of decision relevant information. It compared the approaches to uncertainty in the fields of climate change, health, energy and environmental social sciences.

Review editing of country climate impacts reports
Fiona was the review editor for the 'Climate: observations, projections and impacts' reports on Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico and Spain. The reports were developed at the request of the UK government Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Climate impacts advice and review for BBC World Service
Fiona worked with BBC Media Action (formerly the BBC World Service Trust) on its Asia Talks Climate project. She provided scientific expertise and wrote a review of relevant scientific background to assist the design of the project. The project focused on Bangladesh, China, India , Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam

Science communication support for QUEST
Fiona's Red Kite delivered climate change policy briefings and conducted stakeholder engagement activities for the £23M QUEST research programme on "Quantifying Earth system processes and feedbacks for better informed assessments of alternative futures of the global environment". This National Environment Research Council programme's themes included the interactions between land and marine life and climate change, global climate change impacts, reducing GHGs through land-use change and understanding climate over geological time scales, with projects on biofuels, wildfires, forestry, volcanoes and fisheries. Fiona contributed the human feedbacks section of the book arising from the project, 'Understanding the Earth System'' (Cambridge University Press 2012).

Power generation in China
ERM consulting have taken advice from Fiona's Red Kite on the impacts of climate change on the power generating operations of China Light and Power (CLP). Fiona reviewed reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) and extracted relevant information for CLP. She delivered climate change scenarios for pilot study sites, and advised on adaptation planning methodologies.

Climate change and social justice in the UK
Fiona has delivered a project on Climate Change and Social Justice for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a charity aiming to understand the causes of social disadvantage in the UK, to identify ways of overcoming them and demonstrate practical solutions. Fiona was able to respond quickly to its request for an overview paper, and to facilitate a workshop with key stakeholders. Her work has been used to design an innovative climate change research programme.

Managing the impacts of climate change at Mount Stewart
Fiona collaborated with hydrologists and engineers at Hyder consulting to assist the National Trust in developing a climate change adaptation plan for its world-renowned property at Mount Stewart, Northern Ireland. The site is in a coastal zone and overlooks an intertidal habitat of international importance. Its Gardens are of major cultural importance to Northern Ireland and this popular site is financially important to National Trust Northern Ireland. Fiona has used UKCP09 climate projections to assess the risks and opportunities for the Gardens and its Sea Plantation.
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Fiona Hewer, fiona@fionasredkite.co.uk
Last updated:  14 April 2020