Tamar Catchment, Participatory Ecosystem Service Mapping

Project description: 

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.

Organisations involved: 

Westcountry Rivers Trust, Tamar Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) Partnership

Scale of project: 
Tamar Catchment
Total area covered by project: 
1800 (sq. km)
Special purposes of project: 
Map ecosystem services
What ecosystem service classification was used?: 

Five stakeholder 'interest groups' were formed. The important ecosystem services within each group were identified through stakeholder discussion. These groups were: Water Quality; Water Quantity; Habitats for Wildlife; Carbon Regulation; Recreation and Leisure

Which ecosystem services were focused on?: 

  • Health and well-being
  • Recreation/tourism
  • Spiritual/religious
  • Drinking water
  • Water supply
  • Carbon sequestration & storage
  • Climate regulation
  • Flood control
  • Hazard regulation
Habitats mapped for ecosystem services: 
Enclosed farmland
Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains
Mountains, moors and heaths
Baseline data: 
Biological monitoring data
Habitat or land cover
Human census
Land use data
Protected or designated areas data
Rivers data
Key outputs available: 

Tamar Catchment Partnership; Environmental Services Evidence Review, available at: https://issuu.com/westcountryriverstrust/docs/tamar_evidence_review_1-0_web.

The Tamar Plan, Phase 1: Developing a Shared Catchment Vision

Information on the pilot project, available at: http://wrt.org.uk/ecosystem-services-visualisation/

Contact name: 
Dr Laurence Couldrick
Contact job title: 
CEO, Westcountry Rivers Trust
Westcountry Rivers Trust
Rain-Charm House, Kyl Cober Parc, Stoke Climsland, Cornwall, PL17 8PH
01579 372140