ESCom Conference 2016 Programme




Wednesday 20th April, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation




Mark Reed

How can Ecosystem Services research make an Impact?

Prof. Mark Reed, University of Newcastle 

Mark Reed is a Professor of Social Innovation at Newcastle University, in a HEFCE funded Chair as part of the N8 Agri-Food Resilience Programme.  Mark is based at the Institute for Agri-Food Research & Innovation and the Centre for Rural Economy in the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. A Visiting Professor at Birmingham City University and a Visiting Professor at University of Leeds Mark is also aResearch Manager for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) UK Peatland Programme.  A transdisciplinary researcher  specialising in social innovation, research impact and stakeholder participation in agri-food systems Mark also runs a spin-out company, based on his research, training researchers how to embed impact in their research at:!biography/czpl



Graham Esson

First steps in using the ES framework in Perth and Kinross Council 

Graham Esson, Perth & Kinross Council 

Graham’s presentation will cover the context for the work for example the policy push to work within Land Use Strategy principles, Windfarm development pressures in the council area, limitations of current SEA approach, the Scottish Governments push to work with researchers and develop evidence based.  He’ll also cover some of the potential pitfalls and challenges and a summary of the conclusions and the key outcome of the project which is to have a more effective joined-up delivery of land and water management and action on the ground through the local development plan and its associated supplementary guidance.

Graham Esson leads the Council’s sustainability, policy and research team. He qualified as a town planner and was responsible for producing the first Perth and Kinross Structure Plan in 2003.  Since then Graham Developed the Council’s land use policies for renewable energy and sustainable and low carbon development and climate change.  He was also involved in developing a heat map for Perth and Kinross and was on the project team for the Scottish Government’s Scottish Heat Map.  Graham has been a speaker at the European Climate Change Adaptation Conference in Hamburg in 2013 and other events.  He also completed a Master’s Degree in environmental decision making at the Open University.  He was also part of a delegation to Gothenburg which looked at how the city was adapting to climate change the development of heat networks in the city and wider city region.  Graham was also on the Scottish cities Alliance low carbon Group and on the project team which prepared the low carbon resilient cities report.




 When do collaborations work well? and, What are the conditions for good collaborations?

Osbert Lancaster

Osbert Lancaster, Conference Facilitator

As conference facilitator, Osbert aims to design and host events where everyone feels comfortable to fully engage: learning, sharing and having conversations that matter. As well as helping the event run smoothly, Osbert will lead two participative discussions sessions where delegates will explore the questions: "When do collaborations work well?" and, "What are the conditions for good collaborations?"

As a facilitator, trainer, speaker and writer Osbert has a distinctive approach to working collaboratively with inspiring thinkers and innovators in government agencies, community groups, businesses, universities and NGOs. His training and advice supports people, groups and organisations to be more effective at promoting, supporting and bringing about change for good. Osbert is an Honorary Fellow at the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh and was previously member of the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund, and WWF Scotland’s Advisory Council.


Short 5 minute presentations from community members, there will be time over lunch to discuss further details with speakers.

Evaluating the practical utility of ecosystem service tools

Jan Dick

Jan Dick, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

The Cairngorm National Park is Britain's largest national park (4,528 km²), located in the north of Scotland and was established in 2003. It is the location for some of the most spectacular landscapes in Britain and is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife and plants. The OpenNESS team including Jan Dick partnered with the newly created ‘Cairngorms Nature Strategy Group’ to consider the utility and operationalisation of the ecosystem service and natural capital concepts in relation to sustainable land management.  Jan Dick will discuss analysed data from the Cairngorms and present the strategy for evaluating the OpenNESS project.




Peter Philips

Land use policy evaluation and the Scottish Land Use Strategy

Peter Philips, Collingwood Environmental Planning.

Scotland’s first Land Use Strategy (LUS) – Getting the best from our land – provides the overarching policy context for the sustainable use and management of land in Scotland[i].  A key provision of the LUS are its ten principles for sustainable land use; the ‘LUS Principles’. These are the critical factors that the Scottish Government want to see considered in decisions affecting land.  Public bodies are expected to use the principles in land use decision-making and other individuals, businesses and organisations involved in land based activities are strongly encouraged to have regard to them.  The LUS is closely aligned to the ecosystems approach, as defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity[ii] (CBD) and the 12 Malawi Principles[iii].  It follows that the LUS principles can be construed as a framework for ecosystems approach based land use / management planning.  This Flashtalk will outline key aspects of methods, data and results from two seminal Scottish land use policy evaluations that used the LUS principles as an evaluation framework: the Land Use Strategy Delivery Evaluation Project[iv]; and the Evaluation of the LUS Forestry Focussed (WEAG) Sub-Regional Pilot Studies[v].  These evaluations had multiple objectives including: assessing the applicability of the LUS; identifying how and where it was being applied at the local / operational level; and informing the LUS review and the forthcoming ‘LUS2’ which will be published in Spring 2016.  Both evaluations adopted a case study approach and used in-depth semi-structured interviews, document review and workshops to elicit data on where and how the LUS Principles had been considered in land use / management decision-making and in resultant outcomes and impacts ‘on the ground’.  Results from both evaluations showed that: 1) there is already significant capacity to deliver sustainable land use, as per the LUS, within Scotland’s existing ‘landscape’ of land use delivery mechanisms; 2) evaluation criteria based on the ten LUS Principles can be used to qualitatively evaluate the impacts of policy and practice on sustainable land use; 3) notwithstanding (2) there is a need for better summative evaluation of land use policy that can more effectively track the impacts of policy interventions on ecosystem health, ecosystem services and societal engagement with land use policy decision-making

[i] Scottish Government (2011). Getting the best from our land – a land use strategy for Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

[ii] UN (1992). United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

[iii] Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat (2013). Ecosystems approach principles [online]. Montreal: CBD Secretariat.

[iv] Phillips, P.M., Eales, R.P, Baker, J., João, E., and Lord, R. (2014). Land Use Strategy (LUS) Delivery Evaluation Project Final Report. Report to Scottish Government. London: Collingwood Environmental Planning.

[v] Phillips, P.M., Eales, R.P., Orr, P., and Sadauskis, R. (2015). Evaluation of the Land Use Strategy (LUS) Forestry Focussed Sub-Regional Pilot Studies Final Report. Report to Forestry Commission Scotland. London: Collingwood Environmental Planning.


Loch Ard, Ben Lomond

Strathard project: An ecosystems services approach in practice

Louise Bond, SEPA

Strathard – a landscape to live, work and play, is a collaborative initiative working with partners and the community to engage and capture the views of everyone who benefits from and interacts with this area[i]. The project partners[ii] are applying an ecosystems approach to identify land management solutions in Strathard to reduce flood risk, deliver benefits for people and ecosystems, and to manage these natural resources sustainably in a changing climate. The project involves working with the key landowners, businesses and project partners to identify measures to deliver multiple benefits. Specific opportunities include restoring peat habitat (Comer Estate), improving habitat networks, trialling of natural flood management measures such as woody debris dams, creating flood storage areas, and influencing forestry design plans (Loch Ard Forest). Community engagement is at the heart of an ecosystem approach, working with the Community Partnership (an independent charity) we are engaging with local people, visitors and businesses to raise awareness of the benefits people derive from the landscape, explore land and natural flood management options, and how the community can contribute to decision making The ‘IMPACT’ and key outcome of this project being to improve working relationships between agencies, land owners and the community, resulting in more effective joined-up delivery of land and water management and action on the ground.

[i]  Strathard Project boundary, includes the Duchray Water and Loch Ard catchments

[ii] A strong partnership steering group has been established, members include SEPA, Forest Enterprise, Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, Forest Research, Stirling Council, SNH and the Community Partnership.


Oppla, where the outputs of research can achieve greater impact 

Marc Metzger, University of Edinburgh.

The purpose of Oppla is simple: to be a ‘one stop shop’ for the latest knowledge and good practice. Whether you’re an expert or a newcomer to nature-based solutions, Oppla will help you to find useful advice, tools and techniques, quickly and easily.  Oppla has ambition to grow into Europe’s foremost platform for sharing environmental knowledge, where the outputs of research can achieve greater impact. It will feature a marketplace for promoting useful products and services (both commercial and publicly available), whilst encouraging co-design and innovation. It will also feature a range of networking services, helping members to collaborate and work together across different sectors in developing solutions to today's challenges.


Christine Johnston

Sharing biodiversity data through the National biodiversity Network 

Christine Johnston, National Biodiversity Network.

The National Biodiversity Network (NBN) currently shares biodiversity data via the NBN Gateway, a UK portal of over 110 million species records.  A new exciting development is underway with the creation of the Atlas of Living Scotland ( which will facilitate the sharing and analysis of species and other environmental data in the future.





Kirsty Blackstock

Integrated and sustainable management of natural assets (2016-2021): main areas of impact 

Kirsty Blackstock, James Hutton Institute

Kirsty will introduce the planned work on ‘integrated and sustainable management of natural assets’ (2016-2021) commissioned by the Scottish Government. The focus will be on the main areas where they hope to have impact; those who will benefit from these impacts and those who might work with us to achieve these.  It will also provide the basic information about the structure, duration and objectives of the research; how it fits into the wider theme on ‘natural assets’/entire research programme; and the contacts for more information. 



The National Trust sustainable land management options tool

Marie Castellazzi and Alessandro Gimona, James Hutton Institute.

This workshop will illustrate the alpha version of a new ARCGIS tool, developed for the National Trust, to advise on landscape change options, aimed at improving the provision of ecosystem services (ESS).

The outputs of ESS models are used, together with interactively-set priorities for different services, to suggest where land use change that could improve the supply of ESS. Additional land cover targets and constraints can be provided to expand some land cover types preferentially and to avoid undesirable change. The tool facilitates the exploration of options and deliberation on strategic change at the landscape level.


Improving access to analytical tools for ecosystem services and natural capital

Jessica Neumann and Jonathan Porter,  Ecosystems Knowledge Network.

In the last ten years, a wide range of analytical tools have emerged to help process information about ecosystem services and natural capital. Some of them have been designed for application around the world, often at a large scale. Others are emerging for specific settings in the UK, including development sites. Innovative tools formed an important part in the first Scottish Land Use Strategy (2011). The consultation on the second strategy (2015) identifies tools as a priority.

Awareness of the tools and their capabilities is low among those who directly influence decisions about how land and water environments are planned and managed. In early 2016, the Ecosystems Knowledge Network reviewed 12 tools that are currently available for use in the UK. Information was collected on their capabilities, the data requirements and the outputs.

This session will provide an overview of the 12 tools reviewed by the Network, enabling identification of priorities for new tools as well as opportunities for the research community in Scotland to compare and contrast their capabilities. It will inform the development of a tool assessor web-resource being established by the Ecosystems Knowledge Network to help tool users throughout the UK.


Aster de Vries Lentsch

Bonkers but Good! – Introducing the STREAMLINE interview format 

Aster de Vries Lentsch, University of Edinburgh.

STREAMLINE is a new format for semi-structured, one-on-one interviews. Taking user experience as a starting point, STREAMLINE's open and inter-active format provides an engaging platform where people can express not only what they want or think, but also why they feel that way, providing rich data and insight in the motivations behind their answers. At the moment we’re using it in the Inner Forth area for socio-cultural valuations of Ecosystem Services, with hopes of expanding its application to different geographic areas and theoretical domains.



Tom Hartley

Comparing methods for delivering ecosystem service analysis

Tom Hartley, Atmos Consulting.

This workshop aims to discuss the methods by which the results of ecosystem services analysis are delivered and utilised. Much thought is given to the methods used to create ecosystem service layers, but we want to discuss how best to make these resources available to the people who can make use of them once they are produced. We will present one approach – an interactive mapping tool developed for the Northumberland Lowlands and Coast Local Nature Partnership, along with a number of alternative methods and then open the floor to discussion on what people want from a delivery tool, the ways they would intend to use it in their roles and what constraints they might face. Participants should read the explanatory blog