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UK NEA follow-on phase

Work Package 9 & 10: Tools - Applications Benefits and Linkages for Ecosystems (TABLES)



The Tools: Applications Benefits and Linkages for Ecosystems (TABLES) project was established to deliver work packages 9 and 10 of the National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on exercise. It captures and embeds the value of nature explicitly in decision- and policy- making frameworks through the translation and adaptation of the ecosystem approach into formal guidance to inform and enhance the selection, development, implementation and evaluation of tools set within key stages of a policy/decision-making cycle.

The project identifies, classifies and prioritises extant public policy tools that the TABLES research team and partners judged to have most impact in policy and decision-making across the built and natural environment. These tools are then adapted using an ecosystem services framework into specific guidance which together forms an integrated suite of tools that can be used by professionals to inform policy or decision-making processes.



The principal aim of work packages 9 and 10 is to mainstream the principles of the ecosystem approach by adapting public policy and decision-support tools within an ecosystem services framework to improve policy- and decision-making processes and outcomes.


The research proceeds directly from the recommendations of the UK NEA to develop a suite of tools that enable decision-makers to value ecosystems and to use this intelligence more effectively in decision- and policy-making processes. One challenge lies in embedding the value of the ecosystem approach and its attendant ecosystem services across a wider group of stakeholders than the immediate Defra family of agencies, to include built environment professions and the private sector, where it remains essentially invisible and ignored.




Opportunity for input

Anticipated audience(s)


Completed in draft form (May 2013) as the EATME tree. The framework is the top level guidance for IDEAS-SURVEY-ASSESS-PLAN-ACT-EVALUATE stages and provides the platform for all other outputs below.

Various avenues from interactive workshops, to video conferences and other methods (October and December 2012; May to July 2013)

The framework is anticipated to be used / viewed by academics, practitioners, the public and others

Interactive road map of tools

Draft out for consultation within the EATME platform.  May 2013

Workshops, telephone conferences, e-mail and other methods of input to identify tools for ecosystem system proofing

The interactive road map is in the form of a website to enable maximum impact on all varieties of audiences

Integrated toolkit

The ecosystem proofed tools are contained and signposted within the general framework within the EATME toolkit, May 2013

Workshops, telephone conferences, e-mail and other methods of input

The interactive road map is in the form of a website to enable maximum impact on all varieties of audiences

Descriptions of tool usage

Testing under the remit of WP10 within a variety of our case studies (May to July 2013)

May to July 2013

Professional bodies and case studies using our evaluation strategy 

Methods/tools utilised:

The methodology employed in this research is depicted within a dartboard schematic, with the work proceeding from the outer rings from scoping and team formation to the bull's eye (completion) stage with direct testing of our framework.

In order to maximise the impact of our research and secure maximum user/stakeholder buy-in, an approach was employed which captured the knowledge and experience of case study exemplars using the ecosystem approach/ecosystem services or delivering effective change management. Their input through scoping interviews, workshops, reflection and evaluation formed part of a deliberative process of engagement that informed the development of material. Further engagment practices included interactive workshops and information exchange to maximise social learning and ensuring that the resultant framework and toolkit has legitimacy in the various arenas where they are going to be used.

Case studies:

Wolverhampton City Council

Birmingham City Council

Much Wenlock Neighbourhood Plan

Natural Resources Wales

Isle of Wight AONB

Staffordshire County Council

Grow with Wyre project

Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnerships

North Devon District Council

Cotswold AONB

High Weald AONB

South Downs National Park

Sustainable Urban Rural Fringes (SURF): Gaywood Valley, Kings Lynn

West Country Rivers Trust

Links to other work packages:

Close collaboration is required with all other WPs to identify the wide spectrum of tools used, and to select the tools being reviewed/ further developed in more detail.

WP1: New tool?/ Design of tools; Asset checks as part of wider toolkit

WP4: Developing indicators for tools; Understanding of cultural values from Natural Capital assets

WP5: Developing indicators for tools; Thought-piece on tools likely to be developed in WP5 and how they might relate to the AONB/NIA context

WP6: Futures-orientated thinking and tools

WP7: Response options outcomes and tools

WP8: Culture change for successful use of tools; developing indicators for tools


Principal Investigator:

Alister Scott (Birmingham City University)

Team Members:

Jonathan Baker (Collingwood Environmental Planning)

Claudia Carter, Michael Hardman (Birmingham City University)

David Collier (National Farmers Union)

Ron Corstanje, Jim Harris (Cranfield University)

Mark Everard (Pundamilla)

Paul Gibbs (David Jarvis Associates)

Mike Grace, Tim Sunderland, Ruth Waters (Natural England)

Karen Leach (Localise West Midlands)

Richard Wakeford (Rural Consultant)

Oliver Hölzinger  (Consultancy for Environmental Economics & Policy)


Mike Kelly (Rural Planning Associates)

Mark Reed (Birmingham City University)

Eleanor Rowe (Royal Town Planning Institute)

Nick Grayson (Birmingham City Council)

Jonathan Porter (Ecosystems Knowledge Network)

Charles Cowap (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors)


Resource allocated: £200,000


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