Bassenthwaite Vital Uplands

Bassenthwaite © Peter Wakely

Project summary

The Bassenthwaite Ecosystem Services Pilot Project was one of three upland ecosystem services pilot projects initiated by Natural England. The project set out to demonstrate how multiple public benefits can be delivered within the Bassenthwaite catchment (Lake District, Cumbria) through integrated partnership working.

Project setting

The project covered the Bassenthwaite Catchment area. This is part of the prospective UNESCO World Heritage Site Cultural Landscape, and it is already part of a National Park.

How the ecosystem approach is reflected in the work

The project involved both those benfiting from ecosystem services, as well as those who influence their provision, through a series of workshops as well as a public conference. Two workshops were held with farmers. Maps have been used to identify existing ecosystem services and develop an integrated delivery plan.

Outputs and outcomes

A map-based baseline assessment was compiled of the existing ecosystem services provided by the Bassenthwaite Catchment, using national and local data from a range of partners.

A map-based integrated delivery plan was developed, consisting of seven key actions to enhance multiple public benefits, possible funding mechanisms and how this could fit with farm businesses.  The maps were developed through an opportunity mapping workshop and show where there could be potential to enhance ecosystem services. 

Project lead and partners

The work was initiated as a task group within the Bassenthwaite Lake Restoration Programme, the pilot has been brought into the core work of the partnership.

The project is now in the implementation stage. Delivery is through a combination of funding mechanisms including Higher Level Stewardship, the England Woodland Grant Scheme, United Utilities’ Sustainable Catchment Management Programme, the Water Framework Directive and Nurture Lakeland’s Visitor Giving Scheme.

Further information

See the assessment of the economic benefits of ecosystem services in the Bassenthwaite Catchment.  

An overview of the Natural England ecosystem services pilots is available, along with an evaluation report on the first phase of the three upland pilot projects (published in December 2012). More information is available from Jane Lusardi at Natural England. 

Notes from presentations made at the project conference in 2011 are available.