Public dialogue about nature's place in society

Naturally Speaking...

National Ecosystems Assessment public dialogue (published June 2015)

The ‘Naturally Speaking…’ public dialogue was commissioned to explore how concepts such as ecosystem services and the ecosystem approach reflect public aspirations for environmental policy and practice. The dialogue was run in partnership with Defra, the Natural Environment Research Council and Sciencewise, the UK’s national centre for public dialogue in policy making involving science and technology issues. It addressed questions such as:

  • What do the public make of the idea of ecosystem services?
  • How well does this concept resonate with societal aspirations and concerns for the natural environment?
  • What are the key opportunities and challenges in taking the ecosystem approach forward in policy and practice?
  • How might different approaches to valuation be used to inform publically credible policy and decisions?

The following reports are available from the project:

Executive Summary


Full Final Report


Practical guides

  • The Talking About Our Place toolkit, commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage, provides guidance, resources and ideas to help you think about and discuss your landscape.
  • The Ecosystem Approach Handbook, commissioned by Natural England, contains a variety of case studies of projects that have initiated public dialogue about what nature does for people.

Other resources