OpenNESS Case Study: Ecosystem Service Mapping in Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

Project description: 

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.

Organisations involved: 

Environmental Change Institute, Local Stakeholders

Scale of project: 
Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull
Special purposes of project: 
Map ecosystem services
Map social/cultural values
What ecosystem service classification was used?: 

Priority ecosystem services were selected by local stakeholders

Which ecosystem services were focused on?: 

  • Aesthetic/inspiration
  • Education
  • Recreation/tourism
  • Spiritual/religious
  • Crops, livestock, fish
  • Drinking water
  • Trees, standing vegetation, peat
  • Water supply
  • Climate regulation
  • Detoxification and purification in air, soils and water
  • Disease and pest regulation
  • Erosion control
  • Flood control
  • Hazard regulation
  • Pollination
Other ecosystem services included: 

Species habitat (Regulating)

Habitats mapped for ecosystem services: 
Enclosed farmland
Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains
Semi-natural grasslands
Baseline data: 
Biological monitoring data
Habitat or land cover
Habitat quality and/or condition
Land use data
Contact name: 
Pam Berry
Contact job title: 
Organiser and tool devloper
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
Oxford University Centre for the Environment, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QY
(0)1865 275882