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LCN Workshop: Landscape and Ecosystem Services

2nd December 2008, Reading Town Hall, Reading

Download workshop proceedings pdf (1.18MB)

Humanity has always depended on the ecosystem services provided by the landscapes in which we have settled. In current policy and research, there is often a focus on the more tangible ecosystem services: provisioning services, such as food production; regulating services such as flood control; and supporting services such as nutrient cycling. Often, there is less attention on the cultural services provided by ecosystems such as recreational activity, spiritual associations and community identity.

Children enjoying
an agricultural landscape during a trip to a farm in Landrake. © Tina Stallard / Natural England

There is increasing recognition of the importance of understanding the ecosystems upon which we depend. The relationship between people and their environment is central to this understanding. The European Landscape Convention recognises this relationship in its definition of landscape as an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the interaction of natural and/or cultural forces. Assessment of the distinctive aspects of a landscape’s character and how the landscape is perceived should form a key part of any assessment of ecosystem services.

This workshop provided an opportunity to learn about the concepts of ecosystem services from those involved in using this approach in their work. The relationship between the approach and landscape character was also discussed. The workshop included presentations by practitioners and opportunities for open discussion. It was aimed at people working in sustainable development and landscape planning.

Speakers:

John Hopkins: Natural England

"The New Conservation: Climate Change, Ecosystem Services and the Landscape Scale"

Marion Calvini: Defra

"National Ecosystem Assessment"

Rick Minter: Independent Consultant

"Experiencing Landscapes: Natural England research on cultural services and experiential qualities valued by the public"

Brendan Fisher: University of East Anglia

"Economics as a tool for Sustainable Human Welfare? Really?"

Lyndis Cole: Land Use Consultants

"Ecosystem Services and multi-purpose landuse - what they mean for landscape"

Chris Reid: Natural England

"Ecosystem Services in the Uplands"

Laurence Couldrick: Westcountry Rivers Trust

"A History of Conservation: Where we were, where we are and where we're going (from a River's Trust point of view)"