Putting nature's services on the map - seminars

This page describes the seminars that took place as part of the 'Putting nature's services on the map' workshop on 29th April 2013.

Seminar 1 - Mapping opportunities for health improvement through access to nature

Leaders: Rachel Stancliffe (Centre for Sustainable Healthcare) and Paul Nolan (The Mersey Forest)

This seminar examined how maps can be used to demonstrate opportunities for investment in the natural outdoors as a cost-effective and sustainable way by which local authorities can improve the health of their populations. It included a presentation of case of Liverpool, where public health experts been involved in production of a green infrastructure strategy that has led to the identification of places where funding could be directed to maximum benefit.

Seminar 2 - Getting the data behind maps of nature's services

Facilitator: Nicholas Corker (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)

Contributors: Jonathan Winn (Durham Wildlife Trust) Experiences of data acquisition in the design and application of EcoServ-GIS and Tom Butlin (The Mersey Forest).

Mapping nature’s services and how they are used, involves the collation of a wide array of environmental and social data. There is a need to collect information on where services are provided, where they are most needed and where there are opportunities to improve them. This seminar aimed to provide participants with an understanding of what data are needed to produce a basic set of ecosystem service maps. It also illustrated the wealth of data available, the relative maturity of ecosystem service mapping and the range of approaches being adopted.

Seminar 3 - Involving local communities in producing and using maps of nature's services

Leaders: Steve Evison, Resources for Change and Andrew Church, Mapping for Change. Participatory mapping with communities and The way we map.

Mapping nature’s services can be viewed as a ‘one-off’ technical task done by experts within or outside local government. There is, however, a strong case for involving local communities in the ongoing process of producing and revising maps of what nature does for people. This seminar provided an introduction to how communities might best be involved in the production and use of maps of nature’s services.

Seminar 4 - Resourcing local authorities and their partners in producing maps of nature's services

Leader: Katie Medcalf, Environment Systems Ltd. Summary of discussions, mind map of drivers and mind maps of the current situation, barriers and opportunities.

While ecosystem service maps present many opportunities for helping local authorities to make cost-effective and joined up decisions, time and expertise is required to produce them. Mapping of green infrastructure is already a challenging endeavour for many authorities with resource constraints. This seminar involved the identification of barriers, opportunities and drivers in the production of maps of nature’s services.

 Hilary Philips, Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Forum