Listening to the community

We originally created these audio recordings as part of a listening exercise to inform the Blue Heart Engagement Plan. Using an approach known as Community Radio, we encouraged people to speak freely about what matters to them using an open and appreciative style.

The listening exercise was a great way to explore the project area, meet local residents and business owners. Plus we familiarised ourselves with existing networks and relationships. We started mapping the skills, knowledge, resources, and energy already present in communities as part of our assets-based approach. The exercise’s scope expanded organically as we followed ‘leads’ suggested by initial interviewees.

We regularly revisit the recordings to ‘re-tune into’ the concerns and aspirations of the people we spoke with. Plus, we can identify those with whom we haven’t yet made links. They serve as an effective means of representing community stakeholders, even when they’re not there in person.

During our latest partner meeting, we included a compilation of clips from the interviews as the soundtrack to a short video, giving our partners an immediate and accessible way to understand the community context, concerns, and knowledge.

If you’d like to add your voice, please email Eleanor at

Blue Heart Documentary

An overview of how water behaves in and around Eastbourne and south Wealden

Residents talk about their experiences of flooding, drought and water management, while historians explain how things have changed over the centuries, and engineers look to the future and how systems can be managed to build resilience in the face of climate change.

Blue Heart 1: A Wonderful Community

Blue Heart 2: In Days Gone By

Blue Heart 3: Knee Deep In Water

Blue Heart 4: Unstable World

Blue Heart 5: An Environment For Wildlife To Live In

Blue Heart 6: Where That Water Is Flowing

Overview of Blue Heart

Adam and Adrian at Treebourne

The Star Inn at Old Town

Sally at Grow Eastbourne

Robert Slater at Pevensey Court House

Pevensey and Westham Forest Garden

Pete the Pond and John Hayward

Oliver of Plastic Free Eastbourne

Louise and Brian at the Allotments

Katherine Buckland on Eastbourne Heritage

Gather Community Garden

Evan Jones on Ecology of the Marshes

Eastbourne and District Model Yacht Club

Clare Whistler on Water Week and poetry

Andy Durling on Climate Crisis and Collaboration

Andy Payne at Southdown Anglers