English Wetland Immersions: Encountering, Slowing, Navigating, Imagining in Terrestrial Water Worlds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hark—the Tiddy Mun, lurching from the murk. Beware Will-o’-the-Wisp, seducing benighted travelers into the swamp. Hear the padding of the Black
Shuck. The incumbents of moors, marshes, fens, and levels mobilized their
extra-territorium poaching, smuggling, distilling, arms caching, and rough justice activities unimpeded through perpetuating imaginaries of fear and anxiety. Disorientating wetland mythologies and folklore still resonate today within our contemporary cultural and literary narratives of these paludal spaces. This article explores how these uncanny representations compromise wetlands’ future protection. Wetlands’ carbon sequestration, floodwater storage, and biodiversity properties contribute significantly to climate change adaptation strategies.
Yet delinquency, vandalism, fly-tipping, and arson in these waterscapes evidence continued contemporary human disregard. Empirical findings from the
WetlandLIFE project show the diverse ways in which these narratives are being
shifted toward a “nowtopian” framing, to encourage people to use and value
wetlands differently, to prevent further degradation of these complex, vital,
and unruly landscapes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-78
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • climate change
  • cultural representations
  • folklore
  • immersion
  • ecosystem rehabilitation,
  • English wetlands


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