For upcoming webinars, see our webinar listings page.
For details of workshops, seminars and conferences see our events page.
Bigger, better and more joined-up. Introducing the Condatis Tool to enhance habitat networks - 28th November 2019
Throughout the UK and beyond, conservation science and public policy highlight the need to enhance the connectivity of habitat networks. Condatis is a free, open-source, decision support tool to identify the best locations for habitat creation and restoration to enhance existing habitat networks and increase ecological connectivity across landscapes. Watch this webinar to learn about the tool from developers at the University of Liverpool. Hear about how it is being deployed to inform restoration actions and protected site designation including work for Warwickshire County Council, the Cheshire to Greater Manchester Wetland Network, The Northern Forest and Buglife’s B-Lines.
Habitat opportunity mapping: Identifying sites for enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services - 31st October 2019
Government across the UK is encouraging the formulation of plans for strategic management of the natural environment. This includes nature recovery networks, local natural capital plans, as well as the assessment of biodiversity and environmental net gain from built development. As a result, local authorities and others involved in the strategic management of land and water need not only to have a baseline understanding of their natural capital assets and the benefits that flow from them, but also the potential that these assets provide to further enhance both biodiversity and ecosystem services. GIS-based habitat opportunity mapping can be used to identify locations where habitats can be created or restored to enhance biodiversity and a range of ecosystem services. Using a number of case studies across England, Alison Holt from Natural Capital Solutions demonstrated this approach and how it is being used in decisions in both urban and rural settings.
Valuing the natural environment...at your desk - 10th October 2019
The Natural Environment Valuation Online (NEVO) Tool is a freely-available web application to help explore, quantify and make predictions about the benefits that are derived from existing and altered land use across England and Wales. It has been developed by the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute at the University of Exeter with support from Defra and NERC. The tool brings together spatially explicit data, natural science and economic models to provide insights into the integrated relationships between climate change, land use change, ecosystem service flows and economic values. It has undergone significant development and testing since the introductory webinar one year ago. In this webinar, Nathan Owen and Brett Day will provide insight into how NEVO works and how it can be used.
A tour of the Natural Capital Laboratory - trialing new approaches to measuring, valuing, and communicating environmental and social change - 19th September 2019
The Highlands of Scotland is home to a 100 acre 'rewilding' project to restore the Ancient Caledonian forest, reintroduce lost species, and reconnect people with the environment. In order to measure the impact of the rewilding process, a brand new Natural Capital Laboratory is being set up. Join this webinar to hear how it is trialing new approaches to data collection and how it will work with land owners and others with a stake in the natural environment of this part of Scotland. The Laboratory is making use of technologies such as robotics, AI, and drones to quantify and value the environmental and social change associated with rewilding. The work includes a set of natural and social capital accounts, as well as the development of new ways communicating findings through virtual reality and online platforms. The webinar will present a digital natural capital account and a discussion of how biodiversity can be integrated into accounts. Speakers include Erin Gianferrara and Jess Wood from AECOM, Emilia Leese the landowner, and Prof. Ian Convery from The Lifescape Project and University of Cumbria.
Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature: Research into Practice - 1st July 2019
This webinar presented a summary of findings from the IWUN (Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature) research project, led by researchers at the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield. This webinar called on the five strands of research to describe some of the findings: an epidemiological analysis of links between greenspace and health, in-depth interviews and workshops exploring people’s connectedness with nature, a smartphone app developed to see if people feel better when noticing good things in their environment, interviews with professionals and community groups to identify interventions to increase wellbeing and a cost-utility analysis of selected interventions. In the webinar Dr Jo Birch and Dr Nicola Dempsey discussed the findings and their implications as well as how they can be used to help stakeholders better incorporate nature into their decision-making processes.
The local air pollutant removal value of trees in the UK - 12th June 2019
This webinar launched an online tool giving access to new data on the value of air pollutant removal by trees in each local authority area in the UK. The tool allows users to explore the change in value from new woodland, or removal of existing woodland. Trees remove air pollution, and this has health benefits to society that can be valued. Values vary due to levels of pollution, population density, and other factors. Modelling of these factors by Economics for the Environment Consultancy (eftec) and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has produced new local data on the value of the health benefits. The webinar will describe how the data were generated, and how they can be used to help decision-makers understand the value of the trees to people.
Access the tool here: https://shiny-apps.ceh.ac.uk/pollutionremoval/
Testing Natural England’s Natural Capital Indicators nationally and locally to produce a Natural Capital Atlas - 4th June 2019
Natural England’s natural capital indicators are designed to inform our understanding of the state of our natural capital assets to ensure the continued or enhanced provision of ecosystem services and benefits to people. They relate specifically to the quantity, quality and location of natural assets and the ecosystem services that flow from them. This webinar presents the outcomes and learning from recently completed projects to test the indicators at a national and local scale in both the terrestrial and marine environment. Testing included matching datasets to indicators and identifying gaps, producing mapped and tabulated outputs that are easily understood in the form of a natural capital atlas and creating a GIS template that could easily be applied in other places. The transferability of the approach at different scales will be highlighted to enable participants to consider how easily the indicators could be applied in their place.
Natural England’s Natural Capital Indicators: defining and measuring change in natural capital - 16th May 2019
Enhancing natural capital is core to HM Government's 25 Year Environment Plan but how do we assess how it is changing? In 2018, Natural England published a set of Natural Capital Indicators for defining and measuring change in the state of the environment. It identifies the key environmental properties underpinning a wide range of ecosystem services essential for human well-being. Focusing on ecosystem assets, as an early-warning system for change, this work also sign-posts data sets for measuring the indicators, as well as data gaps. Join the webinar to hear more about this innovative work and its practical application.
The Eco-metric Approach - 30th April 2019
HM Government's 25 Year Environment Plan highlights the opportunity to expand the net gain approaches used for biodiversity to include wider natural capital benefits. The Eco-metric Approach being developed for measuring gains and losses in natural capital services and functions for people and places resulting from habitat change. This work is being led by Natural England. Biodiversity net gain is a pre-requisite of applying the approach. The approach recognises that healthy, diverse and resilient ecosystems are essential to underpin the delivery of a wide range of services and long term natural capital benefits for people and places, such as flood protection, recreation and improved water and air quality.
Making better Policies and Plans for Green Infrastructure: A self assessment tool - 25th March 2019
In order to integrate local planning processes with environment policy throughout the UK new ways of working are required. While some local development plans demonstrate best practice in integrating the environment into all parts of this process, new tools are required. In this webinar Prof. Alister Scott (University of Northumbria) and Max Hislop (Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership) will discuss a self-assessment checklist, designed to equip planners and other professionals to make better policies and plans involving green infrastructure.
Nature-based solutions modelling: Quantifying natural flood management, carbon and nutrients in the Wyre - 12th March 2019
Following on from the session at the Natural Capital Investment Conference 'Natural flood management and the insurance industry' Angus Middleton introduced Viridian Logic’s HydroloGIS model, showing how it can identify and prioritise actions across a catchment to improve water-related ecosystem services. He described in detail work carried out in the Wyre catchment, linking natural flood management (NFM) to property level flood protection measures, as well as reducing diffuse pollution and capturing carbon. Using the most effective NFM was shown to save all homes from flooding during a 1 in 50 year event, which is likely to save around £11 million over 30 years.
Business attitudes towards funding ecosystem services provided by urban forests - 31st January 2019
Urban trees and woodlands provide a wide range of benefits to society, for example, moderation of urban heat islands, and improved mental health and wellbeing. Despite this, local government budgets for tree planting and maintenance have declined in many cities throughout the world. This study aimed to find out whether business are willing to finance tree planting via a payments for ecosystem services (PES) scheme. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 30 businesses of varying sizes and sectors, operating in Southampton, UK. Respondents thought a public-private partnership would be feasible, with a focus on voluntary payments towards enhancing air quality, reducing flood risk, and improving aesthetics. Respondents would prefer to choose from a list of location-specific, cost-effective, monitored projects to fund directly, for marketing and/or corporate social responsibility purposes. To facilitate business funding of urban green infrastructure, clear communication of the expected environmental benefits and a strong business case are required, drawing on the experience of similar initiatives. From our findings, we recommend the piloting and analysis of such PES schemes.
Natural Environment Valuation Online: a web-based tool for natural capital and the sustainable management of natural resources - Wed 31st October 2018
The new NEVO tool is a map-based decision support tool to inform decisions that affect the natural environment of England and Wales. It makes use of state-of-the-art environmental and economic models developed by the University of Exeter in a user-friendly interface. The tool assesses the value of ecosystem services relating to agriculture, recreation, forestry, carbon emissions, biodiversity and water quantity/quality. Users will be able to change model parameters to so as to inform particular decisions they are involved in. NEVO has been funded by Defra. The webinar was presented by Prof. Brett Day and Dr. Nathan Owen of the University of Exeter.
Using natural capital approaches to improve integrated decision-making - Wednesday 3rd October 2018
Part of the Partnerships for People, Place & Environment webinar series (Defra Local Delivery Project)
Natural capital approaches are ways to improve the environment by considering the relationships between natural assets, the services they support and the benefits derived from them. They involve new dialogue and relationships between the diverse array of organisations with interests in the quality of our environment. This webinar provided an opportunity to discuss how natural capital approaches are being used to engage new partners in decisions about areas of land and water. Paul Walton, Head of Environment and Rural Economy at the New Forest National Park Authority spoke about the Green Halo Partnership, an initiative that is working beyond the boundaries of the New Forest National Park to integrate nature and the natural environment with a thriving, economically successful community. Paul Leinster Chair of the Bedfordshire Local Nature Partnership discussed the challenges of getting the environment and natural capital investment recognised as material and improtant issues within the governance and delivery aspects of the Oxford - Milton Keynes - Cambridge Growth Corridor.
An environment for investment, productivity and inclusive growth - 13th September 2018
Part of the Partnerships for People, Place & Environment webinar series (Defra Local Delivery Project)
Local economic development remains a priority throughout the UK. Our understanding of how the environment underpins sustainable forms of growth is greater than ever. This webinar will feature two enterprise and economic development initiatives that have given recognition to the importance of the natural environment in meeting their goals. Emily Kent from the Economic Development Team of Cornwall Council and her colleague Rachel Bice from the Environment Service will discuss how a commitment to environmental growth has come to be embedded in their Economic Growth Plan for Cornwall. They will describe the implications of this for investment work to date. Andrew Leeming from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership share his perspective on the opportunity for environment to support long-term growth. He provided insight into how Local Nature Partnerships and other local environmental initiatives in England can work more effectively to support strategic economic development initiatives.
Natural capital accounting and the historic environment - Thursday 27th September 2018
It is increasingly popular to consider features in the environment as forms of 'natural capital'. Natural capital accounting is a way of assessing and communicating the value of these features. Historic environment assets such as registered parks, gardens and battlefields or listed buildings can act as natural capital stocks. Management and maintenance of these assets affects the condition and extent of natural capital overall. This webinar will provide you with an overview of the findings of a scoping study that considered if, how and where current approaches to natural capital accounting can capture the benefits that are being delivered by the historic environment.
Traditionally benefits from historic assets have been categorised as 'cultural ecosystem services'. The study in this webinar looked more broadly than this. The webinar is an opportunity to discuss next steps in natural capital accounting and the historic environment and find out how the findings from this work are already feeding into other studies. The presenters and panelists were Patricia Rice (Natural England), Hannah Fluck & Adala Leeson (Historic England) and Teresa Fenn & Elizabeth Daly (Risk & Policy Analysts Ltd).
Opportunities for connecting health and the environment - 5th July 2018
Part of the Partnerships for People, Place & Environment webinar series (Defra Local Delivery Project).
The environment plays a large role in supporting health and wellbeing. This webinar featured two examples of work that puts partnership working for health and the environment into practice. Dr James Szymankiewicz, GP and Chair of Devon Local Nature Partnership, spoke about his experiences helping communities reconnect with the natural world to benefit people and the environment. Mark Fishpool, Director of Middlesbrough Environment City also presented. Middlesbrough Environment City works with over 150 local partners to achieve 'One Planet Living' to ensure a sustainable future and maintain quality of life for all.
The webinar was designed stimulate discussion of opportunities for the public, private and third sector to play their part in connecting health and environment. It explored how health can be supported and the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan can be implemented within local communities.
Chaired by Dave Powell of the New Economics Foundation.
Opportunities for involving local communities in managing their environment and place-making - 3rd July 2018
Part of the Partnerships for People, Place & Environment webinar series (Defra Local Delivery Project)
Download the webinar note.
This webinar featured two examples of work to build the capacity of local communities to manage environments in ways that make them resilient, healthy and prosperous. Jenny Phelps of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group spoke about how the Integrated Local Delivery approach uses the detailed knowledge of farmers and local residents to identify environmental concerns and find joined-up ways of meeting multiple objectives. Paul Cobbing of the National Flood Forum discussed the work that local flood groups are doing to develop natural flood management methods in partnership with flood authorities and local landowners.
The webinar had the purpose of stimulating discussion of opportunities for the public, private and third sector to play their part in connecting people, place and environment in 2019 and beyond. This includes how local community action can be a catalyst for mobilising resources to deliver environmental and social benefits in the context of the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan.
Chaired by Clare Twigger-Ross of Collingwood Environmental Planning.
Outdoor Recreation Valuation Tool for England and Wales - 28th June 2018
ORVal 2.0 is a major update of the Outdoor Recreation Valuation tool developed by the LEEP Institute at the University of Exeter with support from Defra. The model's recreation estimates have been extended to Wales and make use of the OS greenspace map. In this webinar, Prof Brett Day from the team that built the ORVal 2.0 tool describes the new functionality and answers questions about the tool and its application to recreation valuation problems. Graham Rusling from Kent County Council explains how he has used it in his organisation.
Tools for Planning and Evaluating Urban Green Infrastructure: Bicester and Beyond - 27th June 2018
There is a vast range of tools on offer to help planners and practitioners assess and plan green infrastructure. It is not always obvious, however, which ones are best to address different questions. A NERC-funded project tested a range of existing simple tools for planning green infrastructure in the rapidly expanding town of Bicester in Oxfordshire. In this webinar, Jenny Barker (Bicester Delivery Manager, Cherwell District Council) and Alison Smith (Senior Research Associate, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford) discussed how they have applied eight complementary tools and methods: Land-cover scoring, participatory mapping, ANGsT, NCPT, BEETLE, iTree, GI-Val and ORVal. They explained how these tools can be applied during the planning process, and for monitoring and maintaining green infrastructure.
Natural capital assessment in practice: delivering net gain - Tresham Garden Village in Northamptonshire - 24th May 2018
Natural Capital Solutions have completed a natural capital and ecosystem services impact assessment of a proposed new garden village at Tresham, Northamptonshire. The assessment used a spatial mapping approahc to compare ecosystem services delivered by the site before and after the proposed construciton. The masterplan delivered a net increase in ecosystem services, and the ways in which benefits could be increased further were discussed at a stakeholder workshop. This project raised awareness of the ecosystem services assessment process, determined priorities, and engaged participants in exercises to adjust site design to enhance the overall provision of ecosystem services.
Natural capital assessment in practice: ecosystem service mapping in the Severn Estuary - 22nd May 2018
The Ecosystem Service Mapping in the Severn Estuary and Inner Bristol Channel project was presented by Dr Matthew Ashley of Plymouth University and Dr Tara Hooper of Plymouth Marine Laboratory. This project explored methods for the assessment and mapping of five ecosystem services within the Severn estuary and Bristol Channel. The identification of ecosystem 'hotspots' provided developers and regulators with an insight into the importance of particular sites. This project provides a baseline to examine future benefits and dis-benefits from development.
Measuring net gain in natural capital and ecosystem services - the eco-metric approach - 15th March 2018
Natural England is developing an extension to the Defra biodiversity metric. This will capture the wider benefits of land-use change on natural capital and the delivery of ecosystem services. The new ‘eco-metric’ will be designed for use by developers, planners, and environmental organisations. It could help in choosing between different net gain options, and could help developers to make the business case for adopting net gain ambitions. This webinar is an opportunity for potential users of the eco-metric to learn more about its development and provide feedback on the approach. It will be of interest to developers, infrastructure businesses, environmental organisations, planners and land managers. The presenters were Clare Warburton (Natural England) and Alison Smith (University of Oxford).
Integrated environmental management: fulfilling the UK's international obligations - 30th November 2017
The UK is a party to the international Convention on Biological Diversity. In 1995, the ecosystem approach was adopted as the primary framework for implementation of the Convention. Jurisdictions within the UK have responded to the existence of the ecosystem approach in varying ways. What do these responses say about the approaches to, and aspirations for, programmes of integrated environmental management across the UK? This webinar addressed these and other related questions and sought to understand how the ecosystem approach can survive and thrive in changing times. It was presented by Nick Kirsop-Taylor, a Researcher at the University of Exeter's Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute.
Sustainable intensification at the landscape scale: an introduction to the Landscape Typology Tool - 2nd November 2017
Managing farmland to increase farm output and competitiveness, whilst protecting the countryside and enhancing environment and social benefits defines the work of the Sustainable Intensification Research Platform. Funded by Defra and the Welsh Government, the Platform has produced a tool to assist in planning and decision making for Sustainable Intensification at the landscape-scale. In this webinar, which launched the Tool nationally, Prof Michael Winter of the University of Exeter and Prof Jack Cosby of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology provided an introduction to the tool and its varied capabilities and applications. The webinar was Chaired by Siobhan Sherry from Defra. This event was co-hosted by the Ecosystems Knowledge Network with the Sustainable Intensification Research Network.