Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Sustainability Programme (BESS)

This section contains the research findings and tools produced by a major six-year programme to investigate the role of biodiversity in key ecosystem processes at the landscape scale.

The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Sustainability (BESS) programme was a £15 million Natural Environment Research Council research project, which ran from 2011-2017.


In these pages you can explore:


More about the goals and strategy of the BESS programme








Research findings of specific projects in agricultural, coastal, upland and urban landscapes







The Impact of BESS research on certain themes: cultural ecosystem services, food security, mapping ecosystem services, flood risk, resilience and pollination







Tools produced for practitioners and researchers








Other Outputs including learning resources, publications and videos





Natural Capital Assessment Gateway

The BESS programme, with support from Natural England, carried out a major piece of work to compile a directory of projects which had mapped ecosystem services at varying scales around the UK. This directory has been broadened and updated to form the Natural Capital Assessment Gateway, and is now based in this website. It contains over 80 projects located in the UK which have mapped or otherwise assessed natural capital and ecosystem services at the national, regional or local scale.


These pages contain the archive of the NERC Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) programme