Past webinars

For upcoming webinars, see our webinar listings page. For details of workshops, seminars and conferences see our events page.

An introduction to participatory land use planning: making it work for people and the environment - 13th July 2017

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Participatory land use planning is an internationally-recognised approach to making decisions about how land, water and natural resources are managed and used. It has significant implications for those involved in managing environmental assets in the UK. The UN Sustainable Development Goals reinforce the need for it to be applied. In this webinar, Peter Phillips and Bill Sheate from Collingwood Environmental Planning introduce this topic. They draw on work they have undertaken for The Pentland Hills Regional Park, commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Valuing public benefits from land: the case of Silverdale Country Park - 25th May 2017

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In 2016, the Land Trust and Interserve Consulting collaborated to undertake an ecosystem service and natural capital valuation for Silverdale Country Park. This 83 hectare former colliery site in Staffordshire is managed by the Land Trust in partnership with Groundwork West Midlands. The aim of the project was to understand and communicate the wider economic benefits of the habitat and biodiversity within the site that are often not considered, or valued as “free”. The valuation made use of Interserve Consulting's Natural Capital Valuation Tool, mapping the ecosystem services provided by the Land Trust’s site and performing physical and monetary natural capital assessment based on this. The work highlights the wider environmental and knock-on social values of the site, and makes clear the wider intrinsic return on investment from the establishment of public facilities such as this. The seminar was be delivered by Alex Saponja of Interserve Consulting with Sarah Williams of the Land Trust.

Trialling approaches to the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in Wales - 27th April 2017

Presentations now available - see links below. A recording will be available in May 2017.

In 2014, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) initiated trials in three localities in Wales to test and develop new approaches for carrying out area-based natural resource management planning. The three trials were designed to test the practical application of Wales’ new legislation, the Environment Act (Wales, 2016). They were focused on engagement with local organisations and communities to understand how the natural environment can be managed to support wellbeing and prosperity. This webinar began with a presentation of the key elements of the Tawe trial (encompassing Swansea) by Patrick Green. This was followed by a presentation of the lessons learned from the trials in the Rhonda and Dyfi, by Patrick Green. Both presenters are Senior Environment Planning Officers at Natural Resources Wales.

Understanding the social distribution of ecosystem services in England - 30th March 2017

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A presentation of work by Karen Mullin, Dr Gordon Mitchell and Dr Rizwan Nawaz (University of Leeds) and Dr Ruth Waters (Natural England).
Webinar presenter: Karen Mullin (University of Leeds)

As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Government in the UK is committed to the ecosystem approach. The ecosystem approach requires equitable management of the natural environment. Despite this, our knowledge of who benefits from ecosystem services (what nature does for people) is very limited. This webinar will presented the findings so far from research that aims to better understand how ecosystem services are socially distributed in England.  See also the listing of resources in support of this webinar.

Assessing natural capital and ecosystem services. The case of the Nene Valley - 1st December 2016

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The River Nene catchment, stretching across most of Northamptonshire and Peterborough, is expected to see many new housing and other built development projects over the coming decades. In association with partners in the public and third sector, the University of Northampton and Natural Capital Solutions has been undertaking a project to increase understanding of the inter-dependencies between the natural environment, people and the economy in this area. The aim was to help planners and decision makers in the area protect, enhance and restore the natural environment for the benefit of both people and wildlife.  Detailed maps of the capacity and demand for 11 ecosystem services were created. Economic assessment of a sub-set of ecosystem services was also undertaken, leading to an estimate of £1,769 per hectare per year across the whole area.  In this webinar, Project Lead Dr. Jim Rouquette explained the analysis undertaken and what this might mean for strategic decisions for this part of England. He will discuss the depth and rigour of analysis that should underpin the emerging array of ‘natural capital investment plans’. Andra Stopforth, Principal Planning Policy Officer at East Northamptonshire Council provided comment on how the assessment is expected to inform strategic decisions in the area.

ORVal - the outdoor recreation valuation tool - 27th October

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ORVal is for the analysis in mapping and valuing recreational sites and develops the framework for the tool in which further improvements can be added over the longer-term. It is being developed by the The Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute at the University of Exeter. The proto-type version was produced with support from Defra and launched in September 2016. It currently covers all of England - see  The ORVal tool is intended for use by a wide variety of organisations interested in understanding and communicating the value of natural outdoor spaces in urban and rural areas. In this webinar, ORVal project leader Prof Brett Day explained how the tool works and some of the case studies of where it had been used. 

Topic introduction - Incorporating ecosystem services into environmental assessment

Listen to a recording of this webinar (30 minutes, recorded on 7th October 2016).

Ecosystem services are becoming increasingly prominent as a framework for linking the environment and people’s well-being. There is strong interest in what ecosystem services mean for processes such as Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal. One key difference is the framing of the natural environment as an opportunity or benefit as opposed to a constraint or backdrop to absorb impacts. This webinar by Dr Bill Sheate of Collingwood Environmental Planning introduced the topic, pointing to some of the resources and examples available.

Topic introduction - Mapping the connection between the environment and people’s needs

Listen to a recording of this webinar (30 minutes, recorded on 6th October 2016).

Describing the positive relationship between the environment and people can be challenging. Maps of ecosystem services can be useful starting points for dialogue about this topic, identifying opportunities for action and investment.  This webinar will introduce the growing field of ecosystem service mapping, highlighting some of the tools available to do this. It will be presented by Bruce Howard, Co-ordinator of the Ecosystems Knowledge Network

Topic introduction - Natural capital accounting at the local and landscape scale

Listen to a recording of this webinar (30 minutes, recorded on 6th October 2016).

Organisations typically assess the value of their assets through conventional financial accounting processes, including balance sheets and profit and loss accounts. This basic information underpins decisions about investment and how best to manage risks. Most of the benefits arising from natural capital do not appear in these accounts. In response, a framework for corporate natural capital accounting has been developed by eftec for the UK Natural Capital Committee. Accounts are being produced for discrete areas of land such as public parks and private estates. In this webinar, Sarah Krisht and Philip Cryle from environmental economics consultancy eftec will introduce some of the innovative local and landscape-scale natural capital accounting work they have been involved in to date.

Topic introduction - Addressing local health priorities through improved access to nature

Listen to a recording of this webinar (30 minutes, recorded on 5th October 2016).

The natural environment has always been part of the health service, preventing ill-health and helping people to address health problems once they have arisen. While the evidence for the health benefits of access to the natural outdoors is strong, practical action in response to this remains very patchy. Long-lasting outcome-oriented partnerships between organisations in the environmental sector and those working at the core of the health system are only just beginning to emerge. This webinar will examine a range of possible responses to this challenge. It will be presented by Rachel Stancliffe, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.

Topic introduction - Payments for ecosystem services: from concept to reality

Listen to a recording of this webinar (30 minutes, recorded on 5th October 2016).

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) is a term used to describe a range of schemes through which the beneficiaries, or users, of ecosystem services voluntarily provide payment to the stewards, or providers of those services. The beneficiaries may be individuals, communities, businesses or public bodies. While there is substantial experience of PES outside Europe, the approach remains relatively uncommon in Europe. This webinar will take stock of progress and discuss how the PES concept might be applied in a European context. It was presented by Steve Smith; Technical Director at Aecom and lead author of several major reports on PES.

Applying Natural Capital Protocol - 3rd October 2016

Listen to a recording of this webinar (60 minutes).

The Natural Capital Protocol is a global standardised framework designed to help generate trusted, credible, and actionable information to inform decisions. It was produced through a collaboration brought together through the Natural Capital Coalition and has already been piloted by over 50 businesses. In this webinar, Mark Gough, Executive Director of the Natural Capital Coalition provided an overview of the Natural Capital Protocol and associated sector guides. Gordon Rogers from Yorkshire Water describes piloting of the Protocol at the Rivelin Water Treatment Works.

Embedding ecosystem services in the South Downs Local Plan - 29th September 2016

Listen to a recording of this webinar (60 minutes). 

In this webinar Chris Fairbrother (South Downs National Park Authority) shared how the South Downs National Park has embedded ecosystem services in it's Local Plan, and has used the Outcome 1C self assessment process to understand how they are applying the ecosystem approach.  Professor Alister Scott (Birmingham City University) also looked at what the South Downs example offers in terms of wider mainstreaming of the ecosystem approach in planning. 

Learning from the UK’s Biosphere Reserves - 14th July 2016

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UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme was initiated in 1972 and some would say it was the grandfather of landscape scale approaches and was ahead of its time. The UK now has five fully functioning Biosphere Reserves. Andy Bell, who established the UK's first modern style Biosphere Reserve, presented examples from the Man and the Biosphere Programme in the UK and described how the reserves are connecting people and nature at the landscape scale in a wholly integrated way. 

A Participatory GIS tool for Morecambe Bay, 1st July 2016

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Marion Frandsen (ADAS) and Hugh Inwood (The Research Box) introduced the Participatory GIS tool that they developed with Natural England. This tool captures public perceptions about the natural environment, specifically the cultural ecosystem services that people derive from the environment. Marion and Hugh discussed how they developed the tool for use in the Morcambe Bay area and how it captured information about places that are considered important or valuable. 

Valuing ecosystem services in an urban oasis: Camley Street Nature Park, 26th May 2016

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Claire Wansbury and Monica Barker from Atkins presented their economic valuation of the Camley Street Nature Park.  The ecosystem services of this small pocket of greenery near King's Cross in central London were estimated to be worth £2.8 million per year.  In this webinar, Claire and Monica talk us through the valuation and the ecosystem services provided by the park.  

Project Showcase, 31st March 2016

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The project showcase presented three projects across the UK that are applying the ecosystem approach in their work:

  • Tweed Forum
  • West of England Nature Partnership
  • Durham Heritage Coast

The showcase gave participants the chance to learn about what these projects are doing, who they're working with, and how they have found the experience.   

Tool Assessor Focus Groups, 7th & 9th March 2016

Managing river catchments and rural landscapes, 7th March 2016

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This focus group featured a presentation by Dr. Jim Rouquette (University of Northampton) on the use of the EcoServ-GIS tool in the Nene Valley, Northamptonshire.  

Making the case for natural features in urban areas, 9th March 2016

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This focus group featured a presentation by Kenton Rodgers (Treeconomics) on the i-Tree Eco study for London, published in 2015.  

Tools for the Job, 25th February 2016

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This webinar focused on tools that capture environmental information such as ecosystem services, green infrastructure and natural capital.  Two tools were presented, followed by a consultation on the new 'Tool Assessor' resource being developed by the Ecosystems Knowledge Network.  Pat Laughlin from the UK Business Council for Sustainable Development presented the Natural Capital Planning Tool (NCPT); and Neil Parker from Environment Systems presented the SENCE tool.  Bruce Howard from the Ecosystems Knowledge Network introduced the Tool Assessor consultation, where we asked people what they need from tools and how they would help them in their work.  

i-Tree Eco - The Benefits of Urban Trees, 26th November 2015

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i-Tree is a software suite that provides an analysis of the benefits of tree cover in and around the built environment. In this webinar Kenton Rogers (Treeconomics) and Kieron Doick (Forest Research) described one of the tools in the i-Tree suite, 'i-Tree Eco', which has been used in the UK.  They discussed why it's important and who is using it. 

Turning Liability into Assets - National Grid landholdings, 29th October 2015

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This event focused on how the National Grid has reconsidered its land holdings and turned what was considered a liability into an asset. Chris Plester (National Grid) and Chris White (AECOM) presented the approach taken at the Thorpe Marsh National Grid site in South Yorkshire. An ecosystem service assessment was used to value the 'natural capital' of the site which led to the business case being made for investment in the natural environment and community engagement, leading to environmental and social benefits. Chris Plester discussed the partnership with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, and how it was possible to identify and deliver shared objectives and value for National Grid and others. Chris White provided an overview of the ecosystem service assessment and how the valuation tool was created that was used to build the business case.

The business of working with business, 1st October 2015

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With a resident population of 1.1 million and statistics showing an output of around £30 billion, Surrey is a big player in the economy of England and beyond.  Surrey Connects at Surrey County Council, responsible for driving economic development for the county, recognises that the ambitions for further growth must start with making the most of the potential of people, land, space and technology.  Surrey Nature Partnership is taking a leading role in demonstrating the value of the counties natural assets so as to bring about smart economic growth that conforms with the principles of sustainable development. One way in which it is doing this is by engaging Surrey-based businesses in a greater recognition of what nature does for their operations, and for all the people of the county. In this webinar, the Partnerships Director, Sarah Jane Chimbwandira, explained progress in engaging businesses in the county to date. She shared insights into how local nature-based initiatives can develop working relationships with individual businesses, helping them to play a positive part in the broader challenge of ensuring the ecosystem approach is applied for the benefit of all. 

Aberdeenshire Land Use Strategy Pilot, 30th July 2015

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James Davidson (Aberdeenshire Council) and Justin Irvine (James Hutton Institute) introduced the Aberdeenshire Land Use Strategy Pilot project.  James started by presenting the background to the pilot project, which was a regional trial to test the application of the Scottish Land Use Strategy.  Justin then presented the web based interactive tool produced as part of the project, which can be used as an aid to decision making.

Good grounds: making the case for nature locally and nationally, 25th June 2015

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Dr Pam Berry introduced the findings from the BESAFE Project, a three year research programme funded by the European Commission that has investigated the range of arguments that people use in favour of protecting and restoring 'biodiversity'. Dr Berry, a senior staff member at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute, has been one of a network of BESAFE researchers on the topic across Europe. Participants learned about the range of arguments in circulation and the contexts in which some work better than others. 

What do the public make of the ecosystem approach? 5th March 2015

The recording from this event is not available, but the reports from the project have now been published (June 2015)

Over 2014 Exeter University has been conducting a dialogue process to open up the methods, analyses and recommendations of the UK NEA and its follow-on work to public debate and scrutiny. The dialogue has been run in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Sciencewise, the UK’s national centre for dialogue in policy involving science and technology issues. This Ecosystems Knowledge Network webinar provided an overview of the key messages. Network members will be notified when the report on the project is published. 

Local nature and local growth webinar, 15th July 2014.

Two important types of local partnership have emerged in England in recent years: Local Nature Partnerships and Local Enterprise Partnerships. There is growing evidence for how the natural environment underpins economic growth and contributes to people’s well being. Wild Anglia – the Local Nature Partnership for Suffolk and Norfolk – and New Anglia - the counterpart Local Enterprise Partnership – have taken the initiative to work together. Both were chosen to test the Local Environment and Economic Development Toolkit, developed by Natural England. The webinar showed how this co-working came about and how aids such as LEED can help. 

Engaging with the valuation challenge, 11th February 2013

This webinar explored practical approaches to valuation at the local level. It was co-organised with NERC’s Valuing Nature Network.

Environment and health, 30th November 2012

This webinar brought together 32 Members to learn from three projects that have made progress with managing natural outdoor spaces to deliver health benefits. See also the Network's page of links to online resources on the topic of delivering health benefits from nature-based projects.

Classifying ecosystem services webinar, 19th October 2012

The webinar on classifying ecosystem services forms part of the ongoing classifying ecosystem services learning theme. Follow the links within this page to join the ongoing discussion.

The natural environment has always been part of the health service, preventing ill-health and helping people to address health problems once they have arisen. While the evidence for the health benefits of access to the natural outdoors is strong, practical action in response to this remains very patchy. Long-lasting outcome-oriented partnerships between organisations in the environmental sector and those working at the core of the health system are only just beginning to emerge. This webinar will examine a range of possible responses to this challenge. It will be presented by Rachel Stancliffe, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.