List of Projects

National projects

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

England

This project mapped ten ecosystem services at the England scale following a simple methodology derived from the National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA, 2011). The maps and methodology used the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology’s Landcover Map 2007 (LCM2007) as base data to describe the potential for areas to deliver individual ecosystem services. The maps are based on habitat maps as a proxy for service provision. Natural England is keen to explore the usefulness and perceived level of accuracy of simple approaches to ecosystem services mapping which do not require lengthy data collection or processing and could be made accessible to organisations wishing to adopt the ecosystem approach. This project included a case study on the use of the maps for South Downs National Park.

England, Ireland

Co$ting Nature is a web-based tool (Policy Support System - PSS) for analysing the ecosystem services provided by natural environments, identifying the beneficiaries of these services and assessing the impacts of human interventions. Co$ting Nature incorporates detailed spatial datasets at 1-square km and 1-hectare resolution for the entire world. It has been applied to a range of site-scale and national-scale contexts globally, including sites in the UK. This example uses the Co$ting Nature tool to examine baseline biodiversity, ecosystem services, pressures and threats in the UK and examines the lessons for conservation strategies, including the potential of increased investments in agri-environmental stewardship schemes.

England

This project produced a review of the ecosystem services provided by Environmental Stewardship (ES), the main agri-environmental scheme in England. It is particularly concerned with those services that are of benefit to agricultural (especially crop) production, thus supporting the Defra departmental priority of supporting British farming and encouraging sustainable food production. It focused on 4 ecosystem services within the agricultural environment: pest regulation, genetic resources, pollination, and nutrient and climate regulation in soils. Scores were given to management options from Environmental Stewardship (ES) for each of the four services, based on expert opinion. These scores were then applied to map service provision by Environmental Stewardship across England based on the quantity of ES options within 5km grid cells.

Scotland

The Natural Assets Theme of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme 2016-21 is concerned with identification, quantification and valuation of Scotland’s environmental assets, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Modelling and mapping of key indicators of ecosystem services is an essential component of this theme. Mapped indicators will support decision-making across land use policy priorities (such as a low carbon economy, sustainable food production and water management) by allowing spatially explicit visioning of the ecosystem services trade-offs. Provisioning, regulating and cultural services were mapped and can be viewed through an online mapping portal.
 

England

This project provides publicly available maps of natural capital, underpinning the provision of ecosystem services. It builds on Natural England’s mapping of ecosystem services based on broad habitats, presented in the report Assessing the potential for mapping ecosystem services in England based on existing habitats. The Natural England report provides ten ecosystem service maps at an England level. The maps are based on broad habitats and expert opinion (from the UK National Ecosystem Assessment). This Mapping Natural Capital Project builds on this suite of maps using additional datasets. The inclusion of maps related to soils complements the maps based on broad habitats in the Natural England report. The new and updated maps from this project have been produced at a 1km resolution through statistical interpretation and extrapolation from a range of sample data.

Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Ecosystem Synthesis is presented as a chapter in the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) Technical Report (2011). It introduces the habitats and ecosystems of Northern Ireland and how the various services provided by those ecosystems impact on Northern Ireland’s people. The document first provides an assessment of the extent and condition of Northern Ireland’s habitats. It then looks at what ecosystem services they provide, and what information is available on the value of those services in economic, social and health terms. It goes on to identify existing and potential future drivers for change and to identify where additional work is required if the ecosystem approach is to realise its full potential. It provides a baseline of existing information in 2010, but it is not exhaustive due to timescale and resource limitations. The Northern Ireland Synthesis document should be seen as a first step, an introduction to how the ecosystem approach can be used to inform policy development and management decisions to help Northern Ireland’s environment continue to function efficiently and deliver a range of benefits to its residents and visitors.
 

National: Great Britain; Local: field sites in the Leeds and Reading areas

Insects pollinate 80% of all plant species in Europe, including most fruits, many vegetables and some biofuel crops. Their service is worth up to £440 million/year in the UK and their current decline might affect UK crop production. Questions this project seeks to answer, include: Which pollinators pollinate insect-dependent crops? Is the lack of wild pollinators currently limiting agricultural production in the UK? How can the supply of managed honeybees for crop pollination be improved? Will climate change affect UK crop pollination? The results to these questions will provide knowledge that can be applied to decisions about crop, landscape and pollinator management practices in the UK. Maps, at a national-scale, are produced to show the distribution of insect pollinators, and the pollination service they provide for various crops.

Great Britain

The SEER project aims to apply advanced analysis techniques to highly detailed datasets comprising spatially detailed information to produce ecosystem service maps. These can then be used to aid decision-making. Maps have been produced at a 2km resolution for the whole of Great Britain and have focussed on a set of ecosystems services and goods, including agriculture, recreation, greenhouse gas emissions and urban green space. Different scenarios were applied to a baseline to show the spatial distribution of changes in ecosystem service value. The economic gains and losses in ecosystem service value is estimated in £/ha/year for different scenarios. SEER is necessarily a highly interdisciplinary undertaking, bringing together economists with ecologists, hydrologists, spatial and policy analysts.

Marine Protected Areas in England, Scotland and Wales

This research aimed to elicit values of cultural ecosystem services of UK sea anglers and divers for Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in England, Scotland and Wales. Through a combination of monetary and subjective wellbeing indicators, the use values and non-use values of 22 Scottish, 120 English and 7 Welsh MPAs were assessed. Cultural ecosystem service benefits that were assessed included recreational, aesthetic, spiritual, educational, health, identity, social bonding, sense of place, and existence values for marine biodiversity. Data was gathered using an online questionnaire. The questionnaire included a monetary valuation section, a mapping section to establish visit numbers to potential MPA sites, and a non-monetary valuation section consisting of subjective wellbeing questions. 15 non-monetary, subjective well-being indicators were developed based on a wide range of literature sources on cultural ecosystem services. They were linked to the mapping section, so participants could directly associate their answers with specific sites.
 

Local and regional projects

Displaying 1 - 76 of 76

Bridgend County

The Spatial Framework Mapping Project was applied in 5 case study locations: Bridgend County, Scottish Borders, Norfolk Broads, Purbeck AONB, and The Dogger Bank. The Spatial Framework approach was developed with two main aims. Firstly, it aims to understand the links between the physical characteristics of habitats and the major ecosystem services being provided. It identifies the practical and appropriate ways in which habitat data can be used to identify and understand ecosystem service provision. Secondly, it provides a framework database which can show what is possible to map given a particular ecosystem service, and what the most appropriate options are for the use of data. Using 5 case study areas from around the UK, the framework approach was tested using selected terrestrial and marine habitats, firstly to establish the validity of the approach and then to ensure that it was applicable for a range of habitats in different biogeographical zones and in areas with differing data availability. The project has shown the wide range of terrestrial datasets currently available for evaluating ecosystem services, although data availability is generally less advanced for cultural services. The differences that exist in quality, resolution and scale are further illustrated by the case study mapping.

Norfolk Broads Catchment

The Spatial Framework Mapping Project was applied in 5 case study locations: Bridgend County, Scottish Borders, Norfolk Broads, Purbeck AONB, and The Dogger Bank. The Spatial Framework approach was developed with two main aims. Firstly, it aims to understand the links between the physical characteristics of habitats and the major ecosystem services being provided. It identifies the practical and appropriate ways in which habitat data can be used to identify and understand ecosystem service provision. Secondly, it provides a framework database which can show what is possible to map given a particular ecosystem service, and what the most appropriate options are for the use of data. Using 5 case study areas from around the UK, the framework approach was tested using selected terrestrial and marine habitats, firstly to establish the validity of the approach and then to ensure that it was applicable for a range of habitats in different biogeographical zones and in areas with differing data availability. The project has shown the wide range of terrestrial datasets currently available for evaluating ecosystem services, although data availability is generally less advanced for cultural services. The differences that exist in quality, resolution and scale are further illustrated by the case study mapping.

Purbeck AONB

The Spatial Framework Mapping Project was applied in 5 case study locations: Bridgend County, Scottish Borders, Norfolk Broads, Purbeck AONB, and The Dogger Bank. The Spatial Framework approach was developed with two main aims. Firstly, it aims to understand the links between the physical characteristics of habitats and the major ecosystem services being provided. It identifies the practical and appropriate ways in which habitat data can be used to identify and understand ecosystem service provision. Secondly, it provides a framework database which can show what is possible to map given a particular ecosystem service, and what the most appropriate options are for the use of data. Using 5 case study areas from around the UK, the framework approach was tested using selected terrestrial and marine habitats, firstly to establish the validity of the approach and then to ensure that it was applicable for a range of habitats in different biogeographical zones and in areas with differing data availability. The project has shown the wide range of terrestrial datasets currently available for evaluating ecosystem services, although data availability is generally less advanced for cultural services. The differences that exist in quality, resolution and scale are further illustrated by the case study mapping.

Scottish Borders

The Spatial Framework Mapping Project was applied in 5 case study locations: Bridgend County, Scottish Borders, Norfolk Broads, Purbeck AONB, and The Dogger Bank. The Spatial Framework approach was developed with two main aims. Firstly, it aims to understand the links between the physical characteristics of habitats and the major ecosystem services being provided. It identifies the practical and appropriate ways in which habitat data can be used to identify and understand ecosystem service provision. Secondly, it provides a framework database which can show what is possible to map given a particular ecosystem service, and what the most appropriate options are for the use of data. Using 5 case study areas from around the UK, the framework approach was tested using selected terrestrial and marine habitats, firstly to establish the validity of the approach and then to ensure that it was applicable for a range of habitats in different biogeographical zones and in areas with differing data availability. The project has shown the wide range of terrestrial datasets currently available for evaluating ecosystem services, although data availability is generally less advanced for cultural services. The differences that exist in quality, resolution and scale are further illustrated by the case study mapping.

The Dogger Bank

The Spatial Framework Mapping Project was applied in 5 case study locations: Bridgend County, Scottish Borders, Norfolk Broads, Purbeck AONB, and The Dogger Bank. The Spatial Framework approach was developed with two main aims. Firstly, it aims to understand the links between the physical characteristics of habitats and the major ecosystem services being provided. It identifies the practical and appropriate ways in which habitat data can be used to identify and understand ecosystem service provision. Secondly, it provides a framework database which can show what is possible to map given a particular ecosystem service, and what the most appropriate options are for the use of data. Using 5 case study areas from around the UK, the framework approach was tested using selected terrestrial and marine habitats, firstly to establish the validity of the approach and then to ensure that it was applicable for a range of habitats in different biogeographical zones and in areas with differing data availability. The project has shown the wide range of terrestrial datasets currently available for evaluating ecosystem services, although data availability is generally less advanced for cultural services. The differences that exist in quality, resolution and scale are further illustrated by the case study mapping.

Three extensive livestock farms in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria

This project is a contribution to ongoing efforts to improve on-farm soil carbon management. It does so through the development of mapping practices that incorporate both ecological and social data. The mapping methods were developed around three case study farms in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria. The research offers a mapping technique to improve the management of soil carbon at the farm scale, and has wider implications for the management of ecological systems.

Horsham and surrounding areas

A case study demonstrating how outputs from the EcoServ-GIS tool can be used at a local scale to direct local planning, land management and habitat enhancement programmes in the Horsham area. As a result of these mapping activities, particular ecosystem services in Chesworth Farm, St Leonards Forest and Christ’s Hospital were enhanced and improved. The EcoServ-GIS tool was developed by Durham Wildlife Trust in 2013 to help map the multiple benefits provided by the natural environment.

South Downs National Park

This project uses the EcoServ-GIS tool to map ecosystem services across the South Downs National Park Area. EcoServ-GIS was developed by Durham Wildlife Trust in 2013 to help map the multiple benefits provided by the natural environment. The South Downs National Park was selected as a pilot area in 2014. Since then, nine ecosystem services have been mapped at a park-wide scale using EcoServ-GIS. These maps can also map Green Infrastructure assets and highlight geographical ‘hot-spots’ that provide multiple ecosystem services. This is being used to inform development proposals and decisions regarding land use change. The maps form part of the evidence base for the forthcoming new Local Plan for the National Park Area. It is also being used to consider the impacts of major development proposals, such as roads and other infrastructure projects, on important landscape functions.
 

Arun and Western Streams Catchment

Ecosystem Service maps of the Arun and Western Streams Catchment were created using the EcoServ-GIS tool developed by Durham Wildlife Trust. These maps were used to target the local enhancement of ecosystem services, enabling planners and other stakeholders in the catchment to take environmental services into account in their short and long-term landscape and urban planning. The EcoServ-GIS model can be used to identify where changes in land management could help to provide more of the required natural services, and to predict where they may be needed in the future.

Bristol and surrounding urban areas

In 2015, Bristol was the European Green Capital. In preparation for this, Avon Wildlife Trust and Bristol City Council commissioned Environment Systems to produce a number of environmental opportunities maps, which cover the greater Bristol area. The Trust’s vision was and is to work with communities across the city, using the maps to inspire residents to support wildlife in their local area by connecting the habitats and green spaces. A structural habitat map of the greater Bristol area was produced. It shows where all the significant semi-natural habitats are and those which are being actively managed, such as SSSIs. The green areas that the public are using were mapped, such as parks, play grounds and river walks. A garden layer was added using remote sensing technology. Eco-connectivity networks were then created based upon natural grasslands, woodlands and water/wetlands. The final maps were produced from over 200 different datasets, including satellite and aerial imagery, soil and habitat data. The maps indicate the best places to create habitat for wildlife, such as wildflower and tree planting, and takes into consideration distance from existing green space.

Birmingham, UK

Birmingham is the first city in the UK to undertake a comprehensive assessment of green infrastructure at the city-scale using the National Ecosystem Assessment approach (NEA, 2011). The value of ecosystem services was assessed, and these values expressed in monetary terms. Services were valued at £11.66m per year. From this assessment, a series of supply and demand maps were created for five ecosystem services considered most important for the city of Birmingham. A multiple challenge map was created, showing the extent to which the multiple functions of green living spaces are meeting their full potential. The assessment, and mapping of ecosystem services, formed the basis of Birmingham’s Green Living Spaces Plan. This plan will be adopted with The Birmingham Development Plan 2031.

Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

The Cairngorms National Park Management project is one of Openness’ (Operationalisation of Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services) 27 global case study sites. The aim of these case studies is to work collaboratively with stakeholders to identify the problems they face in operationalising the Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services concepts in their specific policy and decision-making context. A project within the Cairngorms National Park conducted recreation opportunity mapping at the park scale, using The Ecosystem Service Mapping Tool (ESTIMAP) to assess the capacity of ecosystems to provide out-door recreational opportunities. Recreation was evaluated using a composite model that produced both a ‘Recreation Potential’ map (the capacity of land and ecosystems to support recreational activities), and a ‘Recreation Opportunity’ map (the proximity of Recreation Potential to prospective users).

Carse of Stirling, Scotland

In 2014, a group of local people and organisations worked together to develop a Vision and Action Plan for the future of land use in the Carse of Stirling. The Carse of Stirling Ecosystem Services Project brought together a stakeholder panel of local farmers, land managers and community representatives to consider the wide range of benefits that are derived from the land in the Carse of Stirling and how these can be developed and maximised in a balanced, integrated way. The project was commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage and SEPA and was facilitated by a project team comprising LUC and STAR Development Group. The project aims to explore the usefulness of the idea of ecosystem services as a way of thinking about the range of benefits provided by an area, and how these may be affected by different types of future change. Understanding these benefits will help ensure that they are properly recognised and managed in the future. A series of maps were produced, exploring different ways of mapping the benefits provided by the Carse of Stirling. For each topic, the maps show information derived from published sources, technical analysis, and stakeholder feedback. Topics include: flood mitigation and water shortage; food; global climate; habitats and wildlife; recreation and tourism; scenic qualities and sense of place; soils, pollution & genetic resources; timber, wood fuel & renewables; community and education; and culture and history.

Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs AONB

In 2006, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) published a new tranquillity map of England. Tranquillity is a key service provided by Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). In order to direct efforts towards sustaining tranquillity in the AONB, original data was obtained and further investigation in the area was undertaken. ‘Ground truthing’ of the England map took place between October 2008 and January 2009. New data was overlaid over the England maps.

Hackney Wick, East London

The cultural Ecosystem Services provided by the Hackney Wick, East London area were mapped using participatory methods. A pilot workshop was held in Hackney Wick in June 2014. A participatory mapping exercise was conducted with local residents to derive local community values. Multiple maps were printed, showing both an aerial and a street view. Residents were encouraged to use pens, sticker dots and post-it notes to annotate maps to show cultural services. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) categorisation of cultural ecosystem services was utilised. Participants were asked to identify recreation uses, cultural uses and problem areas. The aim of this project was to combine cultural ecosystems mapping with cultural planning.
 

Cumbria sub-catchments

The implementation of the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan Framework (Defra, 2016) is being trialled through a series of Pioneer Projects across England. Cumbria is hosting one such project called the Cumbria Catchment Pioneer Pilot Project. The main aim of Pioneer Projects is to ‘test new tools and methods as part of applying a natural capital approach in practice’. New tools and methods underpinning the natural capital approach will be tested in three Cumbrian sub-catchments: Braithwaite, Glenridding and Staveley. The aim of Phase 1 of this project is to develop natural capital summaries for the three sub-catchments. These summaries are to document the extent and quality of natural capital assets and bring together existing work on the mapping of ecosystem services in these areas. Natural capital summaries can then be used to design investment and intervention plans. A spatial mapping approach is used to describe the extent and quality of the natural capital assets in the sub-catchments. Maps of the provision of 6 ecosystem services were included for each of the sub-catchments.

Dearne Valley, South Yorkshire

This case study aims to present how a combined ecosystem services and economic valuation approach can be used to understand the implications of an environmental conservation plan. It uses a value transfer methodology to assess the costs and benefits of possible changes in ecosystem services from a local restoration project in the Dearne Valley. The Dearne Valley is a semi-rural landscape which follows the River Dearne in South Yorkshire. The Dearne Valley Green Heart (DVGH) project is a large, coordinated restoration project to restore habitat and enhance the ecosystem services of the local environment. A Natural England report summarises the likely effects the DVGH project may have on the ecosystem services provided in the area. A baseline is established, and a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the ecosystem service changes is calculated. A monetary valuation is estimated for each of the ecosystem services investigated. Baseline economic values are estimated, and a monetary value for ecosystem service changes is assigned.

London Borough of Ealing

The Ealing i-Tree Eco project provides a comprehensive study on the structure and value of the urban forest across the London Borough of Ealing. In 2017, Ealing Council partnered with Trees for Cities, Treeconomics, Forest Commission, Forestry Research and the Greater London Authority to deliver London’s first borough-level i-Tree Eco project. The i-Tree Eco tool has been developed to help quantify and value some of the environmental benefits provided by urban trees. This project calculated the impact urban trees had on pollution removal, carbon storage & sequestration, and storm water alleviation. The total annual benefits of Ealing Borough’s trees were estimated at £1.6 million. This detailed account of Ealing’s trees provides relevant information and recommendations to inform the council’s tree strategy in the short, medium and long-term and provides the baseline information for ward level comparisons.

Suffolk Catchment, southern East Anglia

The core of the East Suffolk Catchments Plan is a series of maps which describe the catchments in terms of the ecosystem services they provide, such as flood attenuation, water purification and green spaces. The maps also show where pressures are acting on these ecosystems and identify ‘opportunity areas’ where improvement projects are likely to be most beneficial. The maps were produced by identifying the features in the landscape responsible for providing an ecosystem service (e.g. designated sites provide habitats for wildlife) and then assessing the current condition of the ecosystem and its ability to provide the service in question. Maps were produced for: water quality; flood attenuation; wildlife habitat creation; carbon regulation; and recreational opportunities. The Plan goes on to summarise the Catchment Improvement Measures (follow-on projects) to be implemented in East Suffolk, to maximise ecosystem service benefits and help meet Suffolk’s Water Framework Directive (WFD) obligations.

Aberdeenshire

A Defra and Scottish Government funded project to scope the potential for developing ecosystem accounts for protected and other land areas in the UK. The extent and condition of ecosystem assets was quantified for six pilot areas: Aberdeenshire, Dorset AONB, Lake District National Park, New Forest National Park, The Borders, and The Broads National Park.  The project will have two benefits; firstly, to test and apply methodologies for natural capital accounting, and secondly to create a valuable tool to help inform ecosystem resource management decisions within the pilot areas. This report provides an overview of the quantity and quality of ecosystems in Aberdeenshire. It maps the physical and monetary flows of 15 ecosystem services.

Dorset AONB

A Defra and Scottish Government funded project to scope the potential for developing ecosystem accounts for protected and other land areas in the UK. The extent and condition of ecosystem assets was quantified for six pilot areas: Aberdeenshire, Dorset AONB, Lake District National Park, New Forest National Park, The Borders, and The Broads National Park.  The project will have two benefits; firstly, to test and apply methodologies for natural capital accounting, and secondly to create a valuable tool to help inform ecosystem resource management decisions within the pilot areas. This report provides an overview of the quantity and quality of ecosystems in the Doreset AONB. It maps the physical and monetary flows of 15 ecosystem services.

Lake District National Park

A Defra and Scottish Government funded project to scope the potential for developing ecosystem accounts for protected and other land areas in the UK. The extent and condition of ecosystem assets was quantified for six pilot areas: Aberdeenshire, Dorset AONB, Lake District National Park, New Forest National Park, The Borders, and The Broads National Park.  The project will have two benefits; firstly, to test and apply methodologies for natural capital accounting, and secondly to create a valuable tool to help inform ecosystem resource management decisions within the pilot areas. This report provides an overview of the quantity and quality of ecosystems in the Lake District National Park. It maps the physical and monetary flows of 15 ecosystem services.
 

New Forest National Park

A Defra and Scottish Government funded project to scope the potential for developing ecosystem accounts for protected and other land areas in the UK. The extent and condition of ecosystem assets was quantified for six pilot areas: Aberdeenshire, Dorset AONB, Lake District National Park, New Forest National Park, The Borders, and The Broads National Park.  The project will have two benefits; firstly, to test and apply methodologies for natural capital accounting, and secondly to create a valuable tool to help inform ecosystem resource management decisions within the pilot areas. This report provides an overview of the quantity and quality of ecosystems in the New Forest National Park. It maps the physical and monetary flows of 15 ecosystem services.

The Scottish Borders

A Defra and Scottish Government funded project to scope the potential for developing ecosystem accounts for protected and other land areas in the UK. The extent and condition of ecosystem assets was quantified for six pilot areas: Aberdeenshire, Dorset AONB, Lake District National Park, New Forest National Park, The Borders, and The Broads National Park.  The project will have two benefits; firstly, to test and apply methodologies for natural capital accounting, and secondly to create a valuable tool to help inform ecosystem resource management decisions within the pilot areas. This report provides an overview of the quantity and quality of ecosystems in The Borders. It maps the physical and monetary flows of 15 ecosystem services.

The Broads National Park

A Defra and Scottish Government funded project to scope the potential for developing ecosystem accounts for protected and other land areas in the UK. The extent and condition of ecosystem assets was quantified for six pilot areas: Aberdeenshire, Dorset AONB, Lake District National Park, New Forest National Park, The Borders, and The Broads National Park.  The project will have two benefits; firstly, to test and apply methodologies for natural capital accounting, and secondly to create a valuable tool to help inform ecosystem resource management decisions within the pilot areas. This report provides an overview of the quantity and quality of ecosystems in The Borders. It maps the physical and monetary flows of 15 ecosystem services.

Bridgend County, Wales

Bridgend’s Local Biodiversity Action Plan (2014) contains maps and assessments of key ecosystem services for habitats (Landscape Character Areas) and urban areas of Bridgend, South Wales. It sets out to map and quantify the biodiversity and underlying ecosystem services of Bridgend, and provides recommendations for how these services can be enhanced to increase their value to society. In 2010, the Bridgend County Council, Countryside Council for Wales and Environment Systems developed and applied SCCAN: National Resource Planning Support System. SCCAN brings together information on a wide range of ecosystem services, allowing users to weigh up, and set priorities for, the many competing demands that are placed on natural resources. The maps produced from this project are included in the Action Plan and can be used to show where maximum value can be gained from taking action.

Humberhead Levels NIA, Yorkshire; Tees Valley, Yorkshire

Ecosystem Service Interactions – Spatial Interactive Tool (ESI-SIT) is a web-based support tool, developed using the Humberland Levels NIA and Tees Valley as case studies. The tool focusses on the interactions between ecosystem services at the landscape level, and calculates the effect of specific management interventions on these interactions. The model is underpinned by a spreadsheet which provides details on the interactions based on scientific literature.

The Border Uplands, Northumberland, area around Bellingham, Otterburn and Kielder

The Border Uplands Partnership has adopted an Ecosystem Services approach to inform their management priorities of the Border Uplands area around Bellingham, Otterburn and Kielder. The UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority habitats have been mapped by Natural England. 46% of the Border Uplands area is included in these priority habitats. This consists mainly of heathland, blanket bog, calcareous grassland and deciduous woodland. The Border Uplands Partnership held a workshop in November 2012 where priority Ecosystem Services provided by the Border Uplands area were identified: timber, climate regulation, water, and sense of place. The focus has been to define the value of these services, and the key locations where these services are provided. A variety of datasets were used to map the ecosystem services, mapping the quality and location of services. Wetland opportunity mapping also took place. A series of maps were developed where the physical and ecological conditions of the Border Uplands could support wetlands. Some of the maps indicated the current wetlands area and future potential wetlands areas.

Severn Estuary and Inner Bristol Channel

This project, conducted in partnership between Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the RSPB, explored methods for the assessment and mapping of five key ecosystem services within the Severn estuary and Bristol Channel. The three-month project aims to identify priority locations for the supply of key ecosystem services. The identification of ecosystem service hotspots will provide developers, regulators and other stakeholders with an insight into locations and the importance of these sites. This project will also provide a baseline to examine future benefits and dis-benefits from development. The project has 5 clear objectives: Identify and assess 5 key ecosystem services and related activities provided within the greater Severn Estuary, at least one of which should be a cultural service; Map ecosystem services and related activities within a Geographical Information System; Explore potential valuation approaches to add scales to the benefits of the services; and Communicate the findings to key stakeholders.

MoD Estate

This project will produce a concise assessment of the priority ecosystem services for a Ministry of Defence estate. It will create GIS maps that can be utilised by the estate's land managers to reduce risks and exploit opportunities. It will help answer questions about the benefits of the MoD holding large tracts of land.

Loddington Farm, Leicestershire

This paper investigates how targeted landscape management can be used to maximise increases in ecosystem services whilst minimising potentially detrimental effects on agricultural ecosystems. Arable land produces significantly different services to both pasture and woodland and a clear trade-off between calorie production and water quality can be observed. Under future scenarios of land use change, cultivated goods are projected to increase calorific output at the expense of decreased water quality at the study site of Loddington Farm in Leicestershire. This paper suggests that targeted landscape management, making use of fine-scale ecosystem service maps, will help to achieve the desired increase in ecosystem services from policy implementation. This project focussed on three ecosystem services at the farm scale: biodiversity, cultivation and water quality.

Hoo Peninsula, Medway, Kent

GIFT-T! is an EU funded project looking to develop Green Infrastructure Business Plans at a landscape scale. The project started in September 2011, consisting of five case study areas across north west Europe, including the Hoo Peninsula, Rochester. The Hoo Peninsula case study involved interviews, discussions and focus groups with stakeholders, including several youth groups. These discussions identified a broad vision for Green Infrastructure in the area and identified the goals for the Green Infrastructure Business Plan. A key component of GIFT-T! was the work undertaken to develop a series of robust maps showing Landscape Service ‘needs’ maps. GIFT-T! built 27 Landscape Service ‘needs’ maps showing where services such as noise pollution cancellation, air regulation or flood protection were needed.

Lewes, East Sussex

The project uses a large map of the area around Lewes to inspire workshop participants to identify the benefits the local environment provides to the community in Lewes. The workshop involved participants in 2 exercises using the map. Within exercise 1, groups selected one of several habitats drawn on the map. They 'became' that habitat and brainstormed to identify benefits that the habitat provided to Lewes. A plenary discussion helped participants share results and categorize ecosystem services into supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural. Exercise 2 involved groups selecting an organisation/business in Lewes town and brainstorming the ecosystem services that the business benefits from. String and Blu-tac was used to connect the enterprise to the ecosystem services they used. The result was a map showing enterprises as part of a web of connections to ecosystem services produced in the local environment.

The Victoria Business Improvement District

This project assessed select ecosystem services that public and private trees provide in the Victoria Business Improvement District (BID). A baseline quantitative assessment was undertaken to measure the impact of green infrastructure on: air pollution, carbon storage, carbon sequestration, storm water, recreation, and surface temperature of green infrastructure. A numerical value, in £s per year, was calculated for these services. The tools i-Tree Eco model, Capital Asset Valuation for Amenity Trees (CAVAT), and the Green Infrastructure Valuation Toolkit were utilised.

Hertfordshire

This report assesses the benefits and opportunities provided by Green Infrastructure (GI) in the GreenArc area in Hertfordshire. The landscape of Hertfordshire is characterised by a variety of landscape types, some of which are relatively rare. Hertfordshire has a rich GI resource encompassing parts of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), river valleys, chalk grasslands, farmlands, ancient woodlands, designated landscape and parklands, in addition to an extensive 20th century urban green infrastructure heritage. The supply and demand for GI was analysed, and maps were produced using Geographic Information System (GIS) map layers to understand spatial information. 11 functions of GI were mapped, and the need, supply and opportunity for each function were assessed. Whilst these functions are not referred to directly as ‘ecosystem services’ they reflect the services that the natural environment provides to human societies. These functions are: access to recreation, prestige on settlement approach corridors, health, sound ecosystems, productive green environments, historic landscape character, sustainability and responding to climate change, land remediation, nature conservation, experience of special landscapes, and flood attenuation and water management.
 

Upland Cumbria

Co$ting Nature is a web-based tool (Policy Support System - PSS) for analysing the ecosystem services provided by natural environments, identifying the beneficiaries of these services and assessing the impacts of human interventions. Co$ting Nature incorporates detailed spatial datasets at 1-square km and 1-hectare resolution for the entire world. It has been applied to a range of site-scale and national-scale context globally, including sites in the UK. This example uses the Co$ting Nature tool to examine water-related services in Cumbria. Extensive native woodland and scrub planting is being carried out in upland Cumbria. This has the potential to significantly impact ecosystem service delivery. There is, therefore, a need for evidence to aid decision making on a local scale. Water provisionary and regulating services are currently extremely important in Cumbria, due to severe flooding of the county. As a result, emphasis on how changes in land use of upland areas can help mitigate flooding are important to stakeholders and inform decision making on a local scale. Co$ting Nature allowed baseline data to be drawn within the study site boundaries and compared with the different impacts afforestation scenarios may provide.
 

River Irwell, Salford and Greater Manchester

The overall aim of the study is to explore the feasibility of establishing a new Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) scheme funded by private sector businesses in Manchester and Salford City Centre adjacent to the River Irwell, Greater Manchester. PES is the term used to describe ‘schemes in which the beneficiaries, or users, of ecosystem services provide payment to the stewards, or providers, of ecosystem services’ (URS, 2013). The pilot study began by identifying saleable ecosystem services through desk-based reviews, site visits and engagement with key stakeholders. This led to the identification of six priority ecosystem services provided within the study area: cooling of the urban heat island; surface water/flood management; visual/aesthetic; recreation and green travel routes; water quality; and habitat and wildlife corridor provision. Site visits and desk-based reviews identified where enhancement of ecosystem services could be delivered and the benefits these services would provide to commercial businesses. The pilot study then identified prospective buyers and sellers and interviewed commercial property owners/businesses to explore perceptions of PES. Further dialogue with commercial property owners investigated opportunities and challenges that arose.

Knepp Castle Estate, Horsham, Sussex

This case study uses a value transfer methodology to assess the costs and benefits of possible changes in ecosystem services from a rewilding project on a private estate in Horsham, Sussex. Rewilding is a process that involves reducing the intensity and changing the type of human intervention and allowing natural processes greater freedom to operate. Practically, the rewilding option in the Knepp Estate initially involved stopping fertiliser and chemical application to the land, and an end to ploughing and intensive grazing. This stimulated the revival of many species of grass and wildflowers. This project reports the likely effects the Knepp rewilding project may have on the ecosystem services provided in the area. A baseline was established and then a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the changes was calculated. The ecosystem services considered included: food and fibre; climate regulation; recreation; education and knowledge; spiritual landscape; aesthetics; and biodiversity. A monetary valuation was then estimated for each of these ecosystem services. Baseline economic values were estimated, and then a monetary value for ecosystem service changes was assigned.
 

Scottish Borders

A set of indicative maps has been produced that show the stock of ‘natural capital’ the Scottish Borders may currently provide through existing land use. The maps demonstrate opportunities where ecosystem services could be extended, and locations where multiple benefits from ecosystem services could be generated. Potential constraints and interactions with existing land use, primarily agriculture, is also identified. Benefit, opportunity, interaction and natural capital maps have been created for four ecosystem services: natural flood management; improved water quality; enhanced soil carbon; and enhanced biodiversity. The maps are intended to be used by landowners making applications under the Scottish Rural Development Programme, as well as for use by local communities and in evaluating ecological networks.

South West Peak, Peak District National Park

The Landscape Opportunity Mapping (LOM) project was commissioned by the South West Peak Landscape Partnership (SWPLP), to deliver an assessment of current and potential habitat opportunity and ecosystem services provision. The aim of the LOM project was to undertake habitat opportunity mapping of key habitats, and to map the supply (capacity) and demand (beneficiaries) of ecosystem services. This was done using EcoServ, a GIS toolkit, and bespoke modelling. 7 ecosystem services were mapped for 5 key habitats. The supply of all services was mapped, and the demand was only mapped where relevant, for water quality and flow, accessible nature and green travel. A workshop was held to share the information from the LOM project with key stakeholders.

Little Ouse River, Suffolk/Norfolk Border

This case study uses a value transfer methodology to assess the costs and benefits of possible changes in ecosystem services from a community-led wetland recreation and restoration project linking remnant valley fens in the headwaters of the Little Ouse River, located on the Suffolk/Norfolk Border. The aim of the community-led project is to re-create and maintain a continuous corridor of wildlife habitat along the fenland headwaters of the Little Ouse. A Natural England report summarises the likely effects the Little Ouse project may have on the ecosystem services provided in the area. The 'ecosystem service changes' are the difference between what is provided now and what will be provided in the future. Two different baselines are established, and a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the changes is calculated. A monetary valuation is estimated for each of the ecosystem services investigated. Baseline economic values are estimated, and a monetary value for ecosystem service changes is assigned.
 

Liverpool City Region

The Mersey Forest has developed a green infrastructure framework for Liverpool City Region, which consists (for the purposes of the framework) of Sefton, Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Halton, St Helens and Warrington. The framework provides a city region level strategic assessment of green infrastructure. The framework has been partially funded by Natural England and has been accepted by the Local Nature Partnership as central guidance. It is built upon a spatial evidence base covering 28 functions of green infrastructure. For each function, both provision and need are mapped. Together, these are used to help generate a list of recommended actions.

London Borough of Barnet

The London Borough of Barnet is the first London Borough to produce a borough-wide Corporate Natural Capital Account (CNCA) for 200 of its parks and open spaces. The CNCA provides Barnet’s council with an evidence base to quantify the economic, social and environmental benefits accruing from its green infrastructure assets. The CNCA has been developed using the quality and value assessment data of these spaces assembled for the borough’s Parks and Open Spaces Strategy (2016-2026). This account shows the value of 200 of Barnet’s parks and open spaces for the wellbeing of residents. The total value of benefits from them is estimated at more than £1 billion over the next 25 years.

Otmoor Protected Area, Oxfordshire

This case study forms part of a suite of research projects commissioned by Defra which aim to assist in describing how an ecosystem approach could be incorporated into future environmental and cross-governmental policies. A major objective of this case study is to demonstrate a method for identifying, predicting and valuing the ecosystem services provided by the Otmoor Protected Area. Otmoor is dominated by agriculture and conservation management and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA). Four priority ecosystem services were identified within the Otmoor Protected Area: water purification and waste treatment; natural hazard and flood regulation; food; and recreational opportunity. Each ecosystem service was quantified and, where possible, an economic value was calculated. Site and ecosystem service specific methodologies were developed for the economic valuation component of this study. The project demonstrates approaches for identifying environmental policy objectives for a protected site that considers different stressors effecting the environment, and accounts for the views of multiple stakeholders.

Mid & East Antrim Borough, Northern Ireland

This is a report produced by the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. It provides members with an overview of the existing environmental assets in the Borough, and how these assets are currently protected. The report is split into three sections and focuses on the environmental assets provided through: Natural Heritage, Archaeology and Built Heritage, and Landscape. For each of these sections, the report outlines: areas of importance, what ecosystem services are provided by these areas, and what legislation and policy is currently in place to protect ecosystem services. This report is part of a suite of reports designed to support Antrim’s Local Development plan, which aims to protect natural heritage, built heritage and landscape. Maps are provided, visualising: sites of nature conservation importance in the Borough; location of historic sites and monuments; and Landscape maps including areas of high scenic value.

Nene Valley, primarily in Northamptonshire

A major project identifying, mapping and valuing natural capital and ecosystem services across the Nene Valley. The monetary value of three ecosystem services was assessed and valued at £118.7m each year. Eleven other ecosystem services were mapped, and presented in the form of supply and demand maps. The aims of this project were to: highlight the key benefits provided by the natural environment; increase understanding of the interdependencies between the environment, economy and people; and to aid planners and decision makers.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Green infrastructure, such as trees, parks and waterways can help regulate urban hazards such as water surface run-off, improve the aesthetic and economic value of an area and provide opportunities to interact with nature. To ensure that they deliver these benefits in the places where they are most needed, local authorities, city planners and developers need an evidence base to target green infrastructure resources and effort. A Forest Research Project, focussing on Edinburgh, Scotland sought to address this need. SPADES (Spatial Decisions on Ecosystem Services), a modelling tool, was applied in Edinburgh to map predicted cultural ecosystem service supply, demand and use, and to highlight gaps and hotspots for targeting resources. The locations where people culturally benefitted from nature within Edinburgh were assessed using wildlife records and online photographs posted on social media. Detailed environmental and social data layers were used and partitioned into ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ categories. The outputs were then overlaid with a GREEN SURGE public mapping survey (Map-Me.org).
 

Sheffield

A University of Sheffield project demonstrating how multiple ecosystem services can be quantified using easily accessible/publicly available data to produce maps of 6 key ecosystem services in a large urban area: the city of Sheffield. The aim was to understand the spatial pattern of ecosystem service provision in Sheffield. The modelling approach was assessed to see if it was possible to identify priority areas for creating hotspots of ecosystem service provision, and whether the unit at which services are mapped matters for decision-making. Detecting trade-offs and synergies associated with particular urban designs will enable more informed decisions for achieving urban sustainability. This work has been of broad interest particularly to The Sheffield Wildlife Trust, Sheffield City Council, The National Trust and the Sheffield Green Infrastructure Consortium.

All London boroughs

A natural capital account for public green space in London was commissioned by the Greater London Authority, National Trust and Heritage Lottery Fund to estimate the economic value provided by London’s public parks. The account highlights the enormous economic value and benefits provided by public parks and green spaces. It provides an evidence base for maintaining and increasing investment in London’s public green spaces, and motivates policy-makers and decision-makers to explore new sustainable models for funding or financing the provision and maintenance of public parks. It was found that London’s public parks have a gross asset value in excess of £91 billion. For each £1 spent by local authorities and their partners on public parks, Londoners enjoy at least £27 in value. However, the economic benefits from parks are not spread equally across or within London’s boroughs. Some parts of London benefit from having plentiful green spaces, whilst others are lacking in this important resource. This natural capital account helps to highlight these inequalities so that future investments can be targeted spatially to help correct inequalities.

Silverdale Country Park

An ecosystem service and natural capital monetary assessment has been undertaken to understand the wider economic value and benefits of Silverdale Country Park, which is owned by the Land Trust. Both physical and monetary assessments of ecosystem services were produced, making use of academic, commercial and economic models based on real site data. The annual economic value of Silverdale Country Park is estimated at £2.6 million, with the main benefits perceived as: carbon storage and sequestration; water retention, storage, purification and flood alleviation and; health and education benefits to the local population using the park. The main objectives of the assessment are to: understand how the ongoing investment in Silverdale Country Park results in wider environmental and social benefits; understand how the wider benefits can aid in supporting future investment of open spaces for community benefit; and demonstrate the business case for enhancement of open spaces through the monetisation of ecosystem services.

Belfast area: Bog Meadows and Minnowburn

This report presents a natural capital assessment of two urban sites in the Belfast area, Bog Meadows and Minnowburn, and was commissioned by Northern Ireland Environment Link. Using a natural capital accounting framework, the assessments aimed to identify and assess existing natural capital assets, the flow of services from them, and the monetary value of the resultant benefits. The net ecosystem service benefits were then established, taking into account the costs of maintaining the natural capital assets. This assessment has shown that the natural capital accounting approach can be successfully applied to urban sites in Northern Ireland. Both accounts show that the sites are providing significant goods and services to society, and these are 50-80 times higher than the costs of maintaining the sites. Natural capital accounting is useful at highlighting the value of the natural environment, which may otherwise remain hidden. It is hoped that the application of Natural Capital accounts will be used to inform decision making and that the case studies described here can be used to demonstrate best practice, and to showcase the importance of natural capital in Northern Ireland.

Pembrokeshire

The increasing frequency and intensity of storm and flood events is compromising our ability to identify and determine areas of land in our urban centres which are suitable for ongoing development. Environment Systems was commissioned by Pembrokeshire County Council to assess the current ecosystem service regulating capacity across the county. The work is the first step towards developing catchment-based measures to help reduce flooding in towns in Pembrokeshire. Environment Systems used the SENCE (Spatial Evidence for Natural Capital Evaluation) tool to model the existing ability of the land across Pembrokeshire to prevent flooding. An ecosystem service stock map for flooding was created. A soil erosion model identified areas at greater risk of flooding. Using these in combination, a series of opportunities were identified. The resulting opportunity map shows locations where undertaking natural flood management measures would be preferential. This project has led to greater understanding of functioning ecosystems and how natural measures can be utilised to prevent flooding. 

Antrim Hills; Greenmount Campus, Antrim, Northern Ireland

This report presents the findings of an assessment undertaken to examine the ecosystem services provided by the agri-environment within a number of farming systems in Northern Ireland. From this assessment, the baseline value of the goods and services of three farming systems is determined. Three farms were assessed based on the stock and flow of services from the natural assets upon which livestock are reared. The total combination of the value of the three farms assessed is £78 million per annum (non-discounted) based on 2016 data. This report outlines a number of recommendations for enhancing natural capital assets on farm systems and progressing natural capital policy.

Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

Warwickshire is a rural county dominated by intensive farming, which partly surrounds the rapidly expanding urban areas of Coventry and Solihull. The Environmental Change Institute, at the University of Oxford worked with Environment Bank, Warwickshire County Council and local stakeholders to apply three different methods for mapping and assessing ecosystem services in Warwickshire: participatory stakeholder workshops, GIS mapping, and analysis of Flickr photos to show cultural ecosystem services. An initial workshop in January 2015 encouraged stakeholders (planners, ecologists and farmers) to identify the ecosystem services that were of priority importance to them. Twenty ecosystem services were assessed in this way and ordered. Two participatory mapping workshops took place and six priority services were mapped: two regulating services (flood protection and wildlife habitat), two cultural services (aesthetic landscapes and recreation), and two provisioning services (traditional and intensive crops). For each service, participants used coloured pens and sticky dots to mark the locations of supply and demand (both current and future). Cultural services were further mapped using Flickr photo analysis. Around 2000 geo-tagged Flickr photos taken in Warwickshire were analysed to show what natural features and places are important to people. Photos were classified according to aesthetic, recreational and intellectual value.

Essex

Essex is a lowland rural county dominated by farmland. The coastline is popular for recreation and provides important areas for wildlife. The proximity to London is driving new housing development which is causing loss of green space, especially in and around the city of Chelmsford. This project is one of OpenNESS’ (Operationalisation of Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services) 27 global case study sites. The case study focuses on cultural ecosystem services, using participatory stakeholder workshops and a mobile exhibition to map five different cultural services: recreation, aesthetic value, education, habitat for wildlife, and ‘sense of place’. Flickr photos were also analysed to map cultural ecosystem services. The aim of the case study was to demonstrate the cultural value of ecosystems, as part of Essex County Council’s Natural Capital Asset Check. Maps highlighted which areas are important for providing health and wellbeing benefits and can help to optimise the planning of new development in a way that protects valuable areas and enhances locations where services are lacking.

The Broads National Park, Norfolk

This study seeks to assess the costs and benefits of possible changes in ecosystem services following a project reconnecting wetland ecosystems within the Norfolk Broads. It describes and measures (where possible) the impacts that reconnection would have on the different ecosystem services provided by the Broads. The main direct effects of the reconnection of wetland ecosystems (waterways and fens) include the provision of corridors for aquatic wildlife, and more generally, enhanced natural functioning of extensive connected habitats. The main ecosystem service benefits arising from The Broads include recreation (land and water based), biodiversity conservation, drinking water and water for agricultural and industrial uses, climate regulation, flood control, and landscape and cultural values. The agricultural landscape contributes many other important services including habitat for wildlife, protection of historic sites and features, flood protection and management, and recreational opportunities. The reconnection project will influence these services in various ways. A Natural England report outlines the ecosystem services that will be affected by the Norfolk Broads reconnection project and summarises the changes that will likely happen. A baseline is established, and a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the changes is calculated. A monetary valuation is estimated for each of the ecosystem services investigated. Baseline economic values are estimated, and a monetary value for ecosystem service changes is assigned.
 

Culm grassland, Devon

This case study uses a value transfer methodology to assess the costs and benefits of possible changes in ecosystem services provided by the restoration of Culm grasslands in Devon and Cornwall. It provides a rapid assessment of the relative benefits and costs of the Working Wetlands Project: an agri-environmental project operating between Exmoor and Dartmoor. The project enhances conservation by supporting agri-environment scheme applications that seek to protect and expand coverage of Culm grasslands. The key ecosystem service that will benefit from the Working Wetlands project is biodiversity/habitats. A Natural England report summarises the likely effects the Working Wetlands project may have on the ecosystem services provided in the area.

Plymouth, Plympton and Plymstock

This case study assesses and values the likely changes in ecosystem services resulting from the interventions detailed in the plans for the Saltram Countryside Park, Plymouth. The development of the Saltram Countryside Park plan is regarded as a key requirement to support sustainable growth and a high quality of life in the area. It is identified as one of the priority projects arising from Plymouth’s Green Infrastructure plan. The Saltram Project aims to provide a regionally significant recreational resource on the edge of Plymouth in ways that are sensitive to, and enhance, the area’s exceptional biodiversity, landscape, historic assets and productive farmland. A Natural England report outlines the ecosystem services that will be affected by the Saltram Project and summarises the changes that will likely happen. A baseline is established, and a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the changes is calculated. A monetary valuation is estimated for each of the ecosystem services investigated. Baseline economic values are estimated, and a monetary value for ecosystem service changes is assigned.

Central Bedfordshire

The report provides spatial information relating to regulating ecosystem services, with a particular focus on soil carbon storage and sequestration, water runoff and water quality. This will improve the evidence for habitat/land use decisions in the Central Bedfordshire area. The project involved the collation of spatial databases for the Central Bedfordshire area regarding existing soil type, land use and potential land use changes. A geographical information system (ArcGIS) was used to map how current and proposed future land use affect carbon storage, sequestration, soil erosion and runoff, and water quality. Maps were used to identify spaces providing important regulating services in relation to: urban development, agricultural management, and the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). This was done for three case study sites: urban development north of Luton, agricultural management for a farm in the Flit Valley, and woodland creation near Biggleswade.

County of Staffordshire, including unitary area of Stoke-on-Trent

The aim of this research project is to identify and quantify the value of ecosystem services provided by rural and urban habitats in Staffordshire. The report also provides an assessment of the specific services provided by the Country Parks owned and managed by Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent County Councils. The value of ecosystem services are assessed in three steps: in monetary terms (where available scientific evidence and data permit); through case study examples; and through qualitative assessment outlining the links between ecosystems and human wellbeing. A next step is to create ecosystem service supply and demand maps in collaboration with stakeholders to promote understanding and uptake of decisions. A Staffordshire Green Infrastructure Strategy will be created based on the Ecosystem Approach.

Strathard, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, western Scotland

This project aims to improve land and water management decisions in Strathard using an ecosystem approach. SEPA and other project partners are using a range of techniques to gather information on ecosystems and their services. An important part of the ecosystems approach is taking into account the views of different stakeholder groups and local communities. This is being done using surveys, participatory GIS mapping, and community events. The information gathered from stakeholders is being integrated with outputs from more detailed modelling of selected ecosystem services using approaches developed by Forest Research’s Land Use and Ecosystem Services (LUES). The results are being used to evaluate and compare the effects of different land and water management actions. Opportunity maps have been created to help target a range of priority management actions, including: natural flood management, woodland planting, and improved water habitat connectivity. The first phase of this project started in October 2015. Action plans should take place during 2017-2019. This project is part of the wider LUES programme.

Tamar Catchment

The Westcountry Rivers Trust has developed a participatory approach to mapping ecosystem services, using the Tamar River Catchment as a pilot in 2012. The aim of this pilot was to bring together stakeholders within the Tamar catchment and to create an integrated and cost-effective management plan. Around 100 individuals representing over 30 organisations formed ‘ecosystem service working groups’. These groups sought to map areas important for the delivery of each ecosystem service identified, and define opportunities for management that could improve ecosystem service delivery. The working groups focussed on: provision of water quality; regulation of water quantity; habitats for wildlife; carbon sequestration; and recreation, leisure and culture. The maps sought to identify the current level of ecosystem service provision, and identify multifunctional areas of the catchment where multiple ecosystem services can be enhanced.

Kent Thameside

The purpose of this project was to assess the types of ecosystem services provided within a particular case study area undergoing extensive urban regeneration. The project explored how best ecosystem services could be evaluated within current land-use planning and decision-making frameworks. Kent Thameside is a key development area within the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan. The area is already under considerable constraints, e.g. in terms of water resource availability, flood risk, air quality, transport and biodiversity. A Green Grid initiative was applied within the Kent Thameside: an important planning concept designed to improve the environmental perception of the Gateway and to provide multi-functional green spaces for community life by enhancing environmental assets. Ecosystem services were identified through stakeholder engagement and workshops. GIS modelling of the Green Grid initiative took place and was further developed through workshops. 

Aberdeenshire local authority area; Two local fous areas: the Upper Dee, and the Huntly area

The Aberdeenshire Land Use Strategy Pilot ran from 2013-2015 and was a Scottish Government funded project focussing on issues of rural land use change. The Pilot aimed to: consider land use in an integrated way; guide decisions to optimise land use; and create an online tool to inform decisions about competing or conflicting land uses. The online mapping tool was developed, focussing specifically on woodland creation in Aberdeenshire in relation to six possible policy priorities: woodland expansion; prime land protection; reducing flood risk; improving water quality; woodland and landscape character; woodland and public access. The ecosystem services considered are: sediment export; carbon storage; and nitrogen retention. The tool allows users to map their own policy priorities and objectives and see how this effects ecosystem service provision. The tool can help planners to identify areas where land use change could deliver multiple benefits, and to explore the consequences of pursuing different policy goals.

Leicester Demonstration Area

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.

Manchester Demonstration Area

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.

Newton Abbot

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.

Thames Estuary Partnership area

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.

Isle of Man

This report presents an economic assessment of the contribution to human well-being by ecosystem services from terrestrial habitats on the Isle of Man. Ecosystem services for each broad habitat type were assessed using value transfer methods. The valuation draws on the results of existing initiatives including the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) and The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). The specific objectives of this project were firstly, to undertake as full an analysis as possible of economic values of the Isle of Man’s terrestrial ecosystems based on the available datasets, and secondly, to apply value transfer methods to calculate values for each broad habitat type. Six economically important ecosystem services were valued: outdoor recreation; aesthetic enjoyment of the landscape; nature related tourism; flood control; water supply; and water quality regulation. The total annual value of these six services was estimated at £42 million. Due to data limitations, not all ecosystem services from all habitat types could be valued in the assessment. It is also noted that the non-use value of biodiversity (the value that people place on the existence and preservation of biodiversity unrelated to any direct or indirect use) is not yet measured.

Greater and Central London

This programme aims to study how urban trees and greenspaces can help regulate air temperature in cities. To date, two field surveys have been carried out in London to evaluate the extent of cooling provided by various greenspaces. Air temperatures were first monitored in and around Kensington Gardens and, more recently, eight other greenspaces of different sizes. The two studies have been separately published, with each illustrating that the extent of cooling provided by a greenspace is related both to its size and the areas of tree canopy and grass. The research is now considering the cumulative cooling impact of greenspaces across a whole city. This research started in April 2011 and is currently ongoing.

Exmoor National Park

Commissioned by the Exmoor Society, this study sought to find whether a natural capital approach could be applied at the level of individual land holdings, taking account of Exmoor’s special landscape character. The investigation focussed upon three pilot study areas of 3-7sq.km, which covered in combination the majority of landscape types present in the National Park. Within these areas the study sought to engage with all elements of natural capital, including cultural values. Based on their results a new typology is proposed which aims to provide a consistent approach that overcomes the challenge of duplication. Throughout the study engagement with local stakeholders in the form of a steering group benefitted researchers by providing access to local knowledge and values, as well as engaging these important groups in the concept of natural capital. Achieving this engagement displays the success of the register in meeting its main target of communicating the value of natural capital society, despite the common challenges of gaps in data availability and its quality.

Deenethorpe Airfield Site, East Northamptonshire

This project carried out a natural capital and ecosystem services assessment of Tresham Garden Village, a proposed major housing and community development in East Northamptonshire. This project addresses the question: how will an assessment of natural capital and ecosystem services work in practice for a major urban development? Natural capital was mapped across the site under the baseline (pre-development) condition and under a draft masterplan produced by the Tresham Garden Village design team. The capacity of the natural environment to deliver 11 different ecosystem services was then modelled and mapped at high resolution across the site. Under the proposed masterplan, the delivery of almost all ecosystem services is predicted to increase, with the exception of agricultural production, and water flow and biodiversity representing a slight decline. A workshop was held to raise awareness of the natural capital and ecosystem services assessment approach being taken at Tresham, including presenting some of the results of the assessment. This project has demonstrated how a natural capital and ecosystem services approach can be applied to the planning and development process in regard to a major development.

West England: North Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire

This project used over 200 datasets and Environment Systems’ SENCE tool (Spatial Evidence for Natural Capital Evaluation) to produce 14 ecosystem service maps for the West of England. The maps provide a strategic overview of where the region’s natural assets are and where opportunities exist to enhance those assets. A total of 14 maps were produced, including ecological networks, water quality and water quantity. For every ‘stock’ map, an ‘opportunity’ map was created, identifying where investment could help enhance ecosystem services for the benefit of people, wildlife and the economy. The maps were amalgamated to identify where multiple ecosystem services could be provided by the environment. The data was made available to all in order to make evidence-based decisions about the environment.

Wimbleball catchment, Exmoor National Park

The project investigates a range of ecosystem services provided in Wimbleball catchment, helping to provide a better understanding of the natural and cultural assets, and how to optimise the public benefits that are provided by them. Phase 1 of the project was a pilot running for six months, focused on the south-eastern part of the National Park around the Wimbleball catchment. The project pilots the approach of looking at ecosystem services on a farm scale. GIS maps were developed to identify areas: that were important for a particular ecosystem service; where an area delivered multiple ecosystem services; and where conflicts arise between delivery of different ecosystem services. This increased understanding of ecosystem services will be used to shape decisions on how the catchment can be cared for and managed in the future.

Pontbren, Wales

Polyscape is a GIS toolkit designed to explore synergies and trade-offs amongst ecosystem services to support landscape management. Polyscape works at local scales with resolution appropriate for decisions considering small (10 km2) to medium (1000 km2) landscape contexts. It recognises that local data may not be available for all environments, and uses national scale digital elevation, land use/cover and soil data as a baseline. Polyscape explores the impacts of potential land cover change on: flood risk, habitat connectivity, erosion, carbon sequestration and agricultural productivity. Changes in land management can be input to Polyscape and ‘traffic light’ coded impact maps produced, allowing visualisation of the impact of different decisions. Polyscape is applied within an Upland Welsh catchment: Pontbren. Ground-truthing and the incorporation of local knowledge took place in Pontbren to ensure local engagement and ownership of the mapping process.

Cambrian Mountains, Wales

Polyscape is a GIS toolkit designed to explore synergies and trade-offs amongst ecosystem services to support landscape management. Polyscape works at local scales with resolution appropriate for decisions considering small (10km2) to medium (1000km2) landscape contexts. It recognises that local data may not be available for all environments, and uses national scale digital elevation, land use/cover and soil data as a baseline. Polyscape explores the impacts of potential land cover change on: flood risk, habitat connectivity, erosion, carbon sequestration and agricultural productivity. Changes in land management can be input to Polyscape and ‘traffic light’ coded impact maps produced, allowing visualisation of the impact of different decisions. Polyscape is applied within the Cambrian Mountains. Engagement with local people in ecosystem management was seen as fundamental, and scientific evidence was integrated with local knowledge.