Payments for Ecosystem Services in the Cotswolds

Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) is a term used to describe a range of schemes through which the beneficiaries, or users, of ecosystem services provide payment to the stewards, or providers of those services. The following describes a PES pilot project that is now complete. A final report was published in October 2014.

Payments for Ecosystem Services in the Cotswolds

  • The project set out to develop a PES pilot which will extend into the new Cotswold Catchment Sensitive Farming target area. The range of pressures in the whole catchment ecosystem are caused by a wide spectrum of interconnecting factors, but primarily influenced by land use, directly linked to human activity and the need to produce food for an expanding population. Parallel to this there is an obligation to fulfill European Union Directives and strategies on water quality (Water Framework Directive), the Nitrates Directive, carbon reduction, biodiversity and landscape protection.
  • This pilot brought together practical land managers (FWAG South West) and academic researchers (CCRI) as complementary partners to further apply the benefits of the Integrated Local Delivery framework to develop a pilot with multiple benefits. Other key partners offering ‘in kind’ contributions are Thames Water, National Farmer's Union, Environment Agency, Natural England and Gloucestershire County Council.
  • The pilot focused on data collection and modeling, identification and capture of the ideas of buyers and sellers, and collection of evidence of need with field trials. The results were brought together to formulate a workable PES scheme that is locally relevant, supported by all partners, and that integrates all wider strategic delivery opportunities for food production, the rural economy, landscape and biodiversity.

Contact: jenny.phelps[at]fwagsw.org.uk