News archive

New Public Health England evidence resource

8th July 2017

Public Health England has published an evidence resource for planning and designing healthier places. It includes a short section on 'Access to and engagement with the natural environment', setting out evidence in ways that will be helpful to those working in the health sector.

Access the resource at:

Natural England report on engagement with the environment published June 2017

Natural England’s ongoing Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) survey provides data on people’s use and enjoyment of the natural environment. The survey has been running continuously since 2009 and every week conducts at least 800 interviews with a representative sample of adults in England.

Sustainable Development Goals introduction

On 21st June 2017, Open Government Network Northern Ireland organised a webinar entitled 'The Sustainable Development Goals in the UK: priorities, processes, participation'. It provides a helpful introduction to what the Goals mean for the UK. The ecosystem approach principles - the focus for the Ecosystems Knowledge Network - can help to put the Goals into practice.

A link to the recording is available at

Event: natural capital, wellbeing and the economy

How does Scotland's natural capital contribute to its national wellbeing and economy? This afternoon event (2pm - 4pm) on Wednesday 28th June 2017, organised by ESComm, will showcase different strands of work taking place to help determine how sustainable the use of natural capital is and where important risks and opportunities lie.

Speakers include:

Cornwall's nature-on-referral service


Cornwall Council has today (8th June 2017) launched a consultation on a Nature-on-Referral Service. This involves a hub that will coordinate and support work in this rapidly growing area; using our superb natural environment to make real changes in peoples’ health and wellbeing.  

The full consultation document and a summary on the webpage  is available at

Green prescription training - last chance to book

Best practice in commissioning green prescriptions - 7th June 2017, 10am - 4.30pm. Birmingham city centre (Austin Court B1 2NP)

This is a unique one-day training course to help professionals working in the health system to scope, design and implement a green prescription scheme in their locality.

The organisers are now able to make 10 places available at a much reduced rate of £60 (full course price £195). Bookings must be made by 5pm on 1st June. First come first served.

Natural capital "How to do it" workbook

The Natural Capital Committee for England has published a draft (version 1) workbook for natural capital assessment, along with a paper that sets out principles for selecting approaches to valuation of changes in the state of natural capital.

"This practical guide is aimed at anyone who wants to use natural capital approaches in making decisions about the natural environment. It is intended to support decision makers, including planners, communities and landowners, but has particular relevance for place based decisions."

Social prescribing and nature - new report

A Natural England report - Good practice in social prescribing for mental health: The role of nature-based interventions has just been published. 

Social prescribing is the mechanism which provides GPs with non-medical referral options, such as nature-based interventions alongside existing treatments to improve health and wellbeing - potentially at much less cost to the NHS. The prescription of nature-based interventions is often called a ‘green prescription’.

Our survey closes today

The Ecosystems Knowledge Network wants to know about you and how we can support your work. Please complete our short survey. It will help us to secure new funding for our work, as well as prioritise resources and events that meet your needs.

As a token of our thanks, we’ll select at random five people who complete the survey by noon on 18th January 2017 to receive £30 off one of our events in 2017. If need be, we'll refund this for bookings already made. 

Payments for ecosystem service pilots - evaluation published

Defra has published an evaluation of the process of supporting 16 pilot projects to investigate the feasibility of setting up payments for ecosystem services schemes. The report provides an overview of the pilots, along with an assessment of the impact and costs and benefits. Find a link to the report on our payments for ecosystem services landing page.

Welcome to our 2000th member!

We have just welcomed the 2000th member of our growing Network for professionals across the UK interested in managing the environment as an asset for the benefit of all. Susan Schnadhorst, Senior Environmental and Sustainability Advisor at construction business Osborne, joined after discovering our Tool Assessor service.

The Network is free and open to all. Encourage your colleagues to sign up by sending them this link.

This Thursday! - Outdoor recreation valuation webinar

ORVal is a brand new on-line tool for use in 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. Learn more about ORVal from project lead Prof Brett Day in a webinar at 1 pm on 27th October 2016.

For details and to book, see the link at

Natural Capital Protocol explained

On 3rd October, Mark Gough from the Natural Capital Coalition provided members of the Ecosystems Knowledge Network with a helpful overview of the recently-launched Natural Capital Protocol. Gordon Rogers from Yorkshire Water then described a pilot project that made use of the Protocol.

A recording of the event is now available at

This event was run in association with the Irish Forum on Natural Capital and the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital.