Although few initiatives use the term 'ecosystem approach' in their work, there are many examples throughout the UK of how it has been applied. The Ecosystems Knowledge Network seeks to put a spotlight on practical demonstrations of what the approach means for the planning and management of areas of land and water. On this page, we feature some examples, as well as providing links to a range of initiatives within each consituent part of the UK.
Most of these projects are being developed by partnerships involving organisations that may not normally work together. Some of the activities are a result of national programmes, initiatives and strategies run by the public, private, charity sectors across the UK. Others have originated from within local communities.
This example is about planning at the local level and the potential to retrofit the Ecosystem Approach, and use ecosystem services as a tool for evaluation. The Neighbourhood Plan has been prepared by the Town Council and members of the community to direct the scale, type and location of development in the parish over the next 13 years.
The town is under significant pressure from housing developers. The strategic planning policies for Shropshire provide the planning context, and in practice the growth ambitions of Telford are equally relevant. The Plan was informed by many of the planning principles underpinning the Ecosystem Approach (principles 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 11 and 12). It was firmly built on the views and aspirations of the community, identified through many road shows, public meetings and surveys; and at each stage of the Plan the community was asked to affirm that Plan was reflecting their expectations.
It has addressed a range of ecosystem services – including landscape, flooding, water quality, biodiversity – and the benefits that arise, such as economic gain from tourism helping maintain local shops. For more information on this project click here.
Schemes within constituent parts of the UK
Projects in which the primary focus is, or was, research are listed separately. The Network welcomes suggestions for other projects that reflect an ecosystems approach in individual localities or areas of distinctive landscape character.