Impact and outcomes

The Ecosystems Knowledge Network was launched as a project in 2012 and gained charity registration in 2015. During this period, the Network has been working consistently for the benefit of its 2000-strong membership. Our members are at the forefront of stewardship of natural environments throughout the UK. The majority work at the local level.

By equipping our members, we work for the benefit of people in all parts of society. According to our vision, the environment is core to everyone's health, wellbeing and prosperity.


In a survey conducted in late 2016, eight out of ten of our members say we make a difference in the way they work. Three out of ten class this as a big difference.

Our impact is evidenced by the way we help our members and others to be more effective in their work to manage the environment as an asset with benefits for everyone. Here are some things that our members have said:

"I believe EKN provides an essential service in disseminating the most current information on topics, bringing together aspects such as ecomomic prosperity and health with the natural environment.  It provides excellent networking opportunities through the seminars and training events it organises". Sarah Jane Chimbwandira, Member of the Executive Board of Surrey Nature Partnership

"The Ecosystems Knowledge Network is a unique resource that draws together practical knowledge across the UK about managing the environment for everyone's benefit. It has helped us know where to start in applying big concepts like natural capital in Northern Ireland." Craig McGuicken, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Ireland Environment Link


We are also proud of specific outcomes from our work, in which UK capability for managing the natural environment has improved. Here are some examples:

Leading the discussion:

Natural Capital Investment

As an organisation comitted to equipping people who want to put the environment at the heart of decision-making the Network is proud to annually run the Natural Capital Investment Conference: The leading forum to catalyse investment in the natural environment. Alongside this landmark event we also host the Natural Capital Investment Forum, providing year-round dialog on this important topic and facilitated by it's own dedicated Twitter handle and LinkedIn group.

Developing the urban environment 

In 2016 we ran Building Prosperous Cities, which set out to establish the roles of ‘natural capital’ and ‘green infrastructure’ in the success of UK cities.

We intend to run another event focused on the urban environment later in 2019. To stay up to date please get in touch

Communicating analytical tools

In April 2016, we launched our on-line Tool Assessor service, which equips our members with lingustically accessible guidence on the methods, frameworks and software which can be used to map and value the multiple benefits provided by the environment in their area. We regularly run webinars on these Tools to give in depth insight into their potential and ongoing applications and provide our members the chace to ask questions to the experts that constructed them. Previosuly EcoServ, Orval, NEVO and the eco-metric have all featured in webinars of this kind.

Promoting innovative partnership 

We are commited to helping break down silos and enable interdisciplinary work, engaging new stakeholders with the value their environment provides. In the coming months we are comitted to running Regional Seminars engaging with an 'Environment for Success’ to enable leading businesses across regions to come together and assess their common dependencies on a high quality natural environment, and to consider how to secure finance for this ‘natural capital’.

Meeting Cambridgeshire's Health priorities 

In 2015, we were invited by the Local Nature Partnership for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to run a workshop to facilitate new partnership work between organisations in the health and environment sectors in the area. Out of this event, a 'Naturally Healthy' Workgroup was formed, involving local environmental organisations as well as public health and academic specialists. 

Securing Northern Ireland's natural capital

In 2015, we worked with Northern Ireland Environment Link (a registered charity) to design the scope and Terms of Reference for a new Economics of Nature Working Group for Northern Ireland. The aim is to raise the profile of the value of nature in policy and practice in the Province. The Working Group involves representatives from the public, private, charity and academic sectors. The Ecosystems Knowledge Network chaired the first meeting in December 2015 before a first appointment for this role was made. We have subsequently prepared case studies to inspire the group and helped it to plan a conference on ‘Delivering Prosperity Through the Environment’. This event took place in September 2016 and was addressed by the Environment Minister. The event, and the activity of the Working Group, has set the stage for various policy initiatives in Government to manage the environment as an asset. Proposals for natural capital asset index were included in the 2016 consultation on a Programme of Government for Northern Ireland.

Informing funding 

In 2013, the Network team provided advice to the Heritage Lottery Fund's Landscape Partnership scheme on the inclusion of the ecosystems approach in its application guidelines. The guidelines have been published and are being used to guide new proposals for major projects to protect and enhance landscape heritage across the UK.

In 2019 the Network team contributed to a research undertaking for the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, alongside the consultancy Environmental Finance Ltd. This project worked to identify projects that could generate that could generate sustainable revenues or cost savings, whilst resulting in a positive impact on the natural environment, with the aim to inform the development of the natural capital investment market in the UK. (Project description)