Alison Holt, Natural Capital Solutions & Bruce Howard, Ecosystem Knowledge Network

Achieving a more integrated management of land and water is key to ensuring our natural environment has the capacity to supply ecosystem services now and into the future. In recognition of this, various types of organisation are now applying the natural capital approach as advocated in HM Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. Within this, a diversity of methods is emerging to assess natural capital at different spatial scales.

This session will discuss what lies at the heart of a natural capital approach, and how it connects with the needs and aspirations of organisations working at different spatial scales. Speakers will emphasise the importance of context to the effectiveness of managing natural capital and ecosystem services, and in so doing focus on the technical aspects of applying the approach, and the practical challenges faced by those who would like to implement it. Using both talks and a panel discussion, the session will describe natural capital work across England, including examples from Northamptonshire, the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge Growth Corridor and Surrey.


Speakers and panellists:

  • Dr Jim Rouquette, Natural Capital Solutions
  • Prof Felix Eigenbrod, University of Southampton
  • Dr Bruce Howard, Ecosystem Knowledge Network
  • Alison Barnes, New Forest National Park Authority
  • Sarah Chimbwandira, Surrey Nature Partnership

Alison Barnes

Alison is Chief Executive at New Forest National Park Authority and has worked in the field of landscape management for 20 years. She is an elected Fellow of both the Landscape Institute and RSA. Previously, as a Director for Natural England, she led engagement with large regeneration programmes such as for the Olympics and took organisational lead on landscape and green infrastructure.  Earlier in her career, Alison worked in Scottish local government and with RSPB on opencast mine restoration projects. She later led on local biodiversity policy within Defra and was Head of Advocacy for English Nature, developing policy across Parliament, Whitehall and Europe and supporting the passage of the NERC Act. Alison is on the Board of Directors for Business South, is appointed to the Forestry and Woodland Advisory Committee of the Forestry Commission and is a Trustee of the National Park City Foundation.

Sarah Jane Chimbwandira

Sarah Jane was appointed as Chief Executive of Surrey Wildlife Trust earlier in 2019.  She has been involved in the work of the Trust since her early career. Her roles have included managing the Biodiversity, Evidence & Policy department for the Trust. This involved oversight of the planning advisory service, ecological consultancy, local record centre and Living Landscapes team. Sarah Jane is also director and co-founder of the Surrey Nature Partnership, which produced its Natural Capital Investment Plan in March 2019. Sarah Jane also serves as a trustee for the Surrey Hills Society and the Ecosystems Knowledge Network.

Bruce Howard

As Director of the Ecosystems Knowledge Network, Bruce Howard has responsibility for developing the work of this UK-wide Forum with a vision for wellbeing and prosperity through a healthy natural environment. The focus of Bruce’s work for the past 13 years has been to bring different organisations and professions together to tackle environment-related challenges. He led the development the Ecosystems Knowledge Network (launched in 2012) and set it up as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in 2015.  Bruce has the experience of work in local authority, in consultancy, in academia, and in the non-profit sector. He originally trained as a landscape architect.
This session is scheduled for Day 2, 22 May 2019, 10.30am-12pm.

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