What is Tool Assessor?
Tool assessor is a free service that provides summary information about ways that show the value of the natural environment in society. This value includes, for example, the role of natural features in reducing flood risk, improving health and storing carbon.
Tool Assessor is provided by the Ecosystems Knowledge Network to:
- help people understand what methods and tools are available; and
- enable people developing and using these tools to share information about them.
Across the UK, the networks of features that provide these benefits are sometimes referred to as natural capital, natural assets, green infrastructure and green networks. The contributions that these features make to people's lives are often called ecosystem services. Many of the tools profiled in Tool Assessor use these terms.
How you can use Tool Assessor
What do we mean by ‘tool’?
A range of methods and guidance documents are referred to as ‘tools’ or ‘toolkits’. Our focus is on structured ways to collate and analyse information about the role of the natural environment in society.
Tool Assessor Project development
The latest revision of Tool Assessor (January - March 2021) was kindly funded by Defra. A review of the initial 12 tools in 2015 was funded by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee - the project report can be downloaded from the JNCC website. NERC funded an Innovation Internship (Alison Smith of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford) to revise entries in Tool Assessor in 2017 and raise awareness of tools with potential users (grant reference NE/P01254X/1).
Tool Assessor is a free service.
The Ecosystems Knowledge Network has reviewed methods tools that it has been made aware of, aiming to provide impartial summary information about them. Always check that a tool is suitable for its purpose before deploying it, and ensure that it is used by people with adequate skills and training. The Ecosystems Knowledge Network cannot accept any responsibility for how tools are used, or the decisions they are used to inform. If you believe any of the information presented requires amendment, or you are aware of a tool that could be included, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the criteria for inclusion? Our focus is on connecting with tools that are available for practical application in the UK, and that are designed to inform 'real world' decisions.
- I have developed a tool, can it be included? We’d be very pleased to consider it. Please get in touch!
- I have experience of using a tool, how can I share this? Please leave a comment on a tool webpage so that others can learn from your experience (you'll need to be signed in as a member of the Network to leave a comment). Alternatively, send us an email telling us how you’ve used the tool and whether it informed decision-making about the environment, on email@example.com