- 3rd December 2021
- Posted by: Dom Senior
- Category: Projects
Client: Environment Agency
As part of our continued engagement with the Environment Agency’s (EA) Collaborative Delivery Framework (CDF), we have developed a bespoke Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital Assessment methodology which has been applied throughout several successful projects, with continuing application within ongoing EA projects (2020 onwards).
Two previous examples of our framework integration took place within the Thorney Island Habitat Creation Natural Capital Assessment and the Pevensey Levels Ecosystem Services Report.
At Thorney Island, the client sought to commit to a Managed Realignment (MR) incorporating a habitat creation programme as part of their commitment to the Regional Habitat Creation Programme (RHCP). Our Natural Capital Framework was therefore tasked to ensure that a preferable management option was chosen based on current and future ecosystem service analysis.
Whilst at Pevensey (Star Inn Gates), a preliminary ecosystem services scoping assessment was undertaken to better understand the wider environmental advantages and disadvantages work to the Star Inn structure and the Pevensey Levels may cause. Our framework also took into consideration the special nature of the project’s wider national character area (NCA) which encompassed a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a national nature reserve.
Both projects utilised our comprehensive ecosystem services and natural capital approach, which allowed our clients to gain an improved understanding of their most relevant ecosystem services (with future potential for grounding in economic terms at Pevensey). Whilst the Thorney Island natural capital assessment provided valuable insight through a net change in ecosystem services benefits for effective comparison of their realignment options.
On both occasions, the framework proved to be a useful feature as a part of a comprehensive decision-making process. At Thorney Island we were able to deliver Managed Realignment options, alongside the priority benefits outlined. Whilst at Pevensey, key ecosystem services were highlighted alongside the potential for a more detailed quantitative economic assessment with accurate costs and benefits.