The short version
Kevin Sene is a scientist and writer with a love of mountains, estuaries and the coast, and a keen hillwalker and photographer. He has written guides on places to visit and the history and wildlife of the Mersey Estuary in Liverpool, Wirral and Cheshire and the coast of Cumbria and the Lake District. He has also published a general interest ebook on tidal bores and technical books on flash floods, flood forecasting and hydrometeorology. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has worked extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia.
The longer version
Hello. I’m a scientist and writer interested in water and climate issues such as floods, droughts and water resources. I’ve spent many years working on projects in the UK and overseas, typically providing technical advice, analysing data and running training courses.
My first two overseas projects could hardly have been more different as they involved running a computer workshop on a Caribbean island (Barbados) and helping to monitor rivers in a semi-arid region in east Africa (Somalia). Other highlights have included helping to understand flooding issues at a regional scale in the UK, southern Africa and Asia, water resources studies in Africa and the UK, and leading research on new approaches to flood forecasting and warning.
Throughout, one strand has been trying to predict river flows and I’ve written three technical books on this topic for use by practitioners and scientists, including an award-winning book on hydrometeorology. I’ve also contributed to many scientific and conference papers.
More recently, as a keen traveller I’ve branched out into more general interest writing with books on the Mersey Estuary in Liverpool, Wirral and Cheshire and the coast of Cumbria and the Lake District.
The idea for The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide began when I was living in Warrington at the top of the estuary, where in the evenings and at weekends I would often go running or cycling alongside the local canals and the estuary shores, including visits to Liverpool and Wirral further towards the coast.
As I began researching the book, I realised that there were some great places to visit off the beaten track that many local residents weren’t aware of, and some fascinating stories to tell about the history, environment and wildlife of the estuary. These featured in the book along with better known sights and tourist attractions. This webpage describes the book in more detail with links to several blog posts on the Mersey Estuary.
Another of my favourite places to visit is Cumbria, having lived in Kendal and Carlisle as well and once cycled the length of its coastline. As a follow up to the Mersey Estuary book, it was therefore an easy decision to write a guide called The Cumbria and Lake District Coast and you can again read more about it on the Troubador Publishing website. This webpage has more details about the book and several blog post on related topics.
Both of these books describe another of my interests, namely tidal bores. These are amazing surges that travel upstream against the river flow and occur in some estuaries on the highest tides, including the Mersey and several estuaries in Cumbria. Of about a hundred worldwide, around twenty occur in the UK. The most famous is the Severn Bore and other well known examples include the Trent Aegir in Lincolnshire, the Nith Tidal Bore in Scotland, the Dee Tidal Bore in Wales, and the Arnside Bore in Cumbria. Over the years I’ve had many great day trips out trying to spot them along with coastal walks, boat trips, wildlife photography and visits to local attractions.
I decided to write a non-technical, general interest book about them, describing why they occur and how to improve your chances of seeing one. The book features ten tidal bores around the coastline of England, Scotland and Wales along with places to visit nearby, such as tourist destinations, nature reserves and locations with a maritime theme. It is available as an ebook from Troubador Publishing and this webpage says more about it.
This website gives space to expand on these various themes and a place to share some of my favourite photographs, some of which are from my Alamy stock photography portfolio.
I hope you find something of interest and feel free to browse the Alamy pages if you would like to see more images of the Mersey Estuary, Cumbria and tidal bores.
On a personal note
I’m based in Scotland and some of my other interests include volunteering in the Lake District and hill walking, cycling and photography. Past adventures have included cycle touring in India and Central America and a high level walk across the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. However, my trips are more modest these days.
My own reading tastes include books on travel, aviation, wildlife, history and politics and I’ve posted reviews of some of my favourites on Goodreads, where you can also read what other people have said about my own books.
If you are interested in writing and photography, I’ve written up some thoughts on organising research for nonfiction books and photographing waterbirds, and on my approaches to photographic post processing and video making. I also describe researching and writing The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide here.
I have a long association with Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) at Lancaster University, where one of my main interests is to use advanced statistical techniques to gain a better understanding of how hydrological systems respond to climate and rainfall variations. I also co-supervise MSc projects on this area.
This has included investigations into the historical response of large lakes, new approaches to flood forecasting, the potential for seasonal forecasting of river flows and a comparative study of the UK’s tidal bores. The following two papers which I presented via Zoom at a conference in West Africa give a flavour of these techniques and topics:
Here also are links to my technical books:
The first edition of the Hydrometeorology book received an honourable mention in the prestigious Atmospheric Science Librarians International (ASLI) nominations for the best book of the year in the fields of meteorology, climatology and atmospheric sciences.