The Defra Local Action Project - Thames Estuary case study

Project description: 

The Local Action Project was commissioned by Defra and delivered by the Westcountry Rivers Trust. It produced a method for assessing opportunities to enhance or create new ecosystem services in urban areas, including cost-benefit assessment. The project was based on four case studies that piloted the mapping and cost-benefit tool: Leicester, Manchester, Newton Abbot and the Thames Estuary. In each of these areas work, has been done with catchment partnerships and local decision makers to provide feedback and refine the approach. Twelve ecosystem services were mapped, and benefit and opportunity maps were produced.

Organisations involved: 

Westcountry Rivers Trust

Scale of project: 
Thames Estuary Partnership area
Total area covered by project: 
2500 (sq. km)
Special purposes of project: 
Map ecosystem services
Map economic values of ecosystem services
Map social/cultural values
Map health impacts
What ecosystem service classification was used?: 

Twelve ecosystem services were selected to map at the four test sites

Which ecosystem services were focused on?: 

  • Aesthetic/inspiration
  • Recreation/tourism
  • Climate regulation
  • Detoxification and purification in air, soils and water
  • Flood control
  • Hazard regulation
Habitats mapped for ecosystem services: 
Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains
Baseline data: 
Biological monitoring data
Habitat or land cover
Human census
Land use data
Rivers data
Key outputs available: 

Local Action Project, Thames Estuary Partnership, available at: 

Local Action Project Final report, 2016

Westcountry Rivers Trust
Rain-Charm House, Kyl Cober Parc, Stoke Climsland, Cornwall, PL17 8PH
01579 372140