The Valuing Nature Programme is funded by

  • the Natural Environment Research Council
  • the Economic and Social Research Council
  • the Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Health & Wellbeing Funding Call

The funding call for the Valuing Nature Human Health and Wellbeing goal is now closed. Details of projects funded under this call are available here.

This page contains information developed in support of the funding call was open.

About the funding call

The call funders are the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Applications needed to demonstrate building interdisciplinary capability and reflect the interests of the three funders as well as strong engagement with research users.  

Funding is awarded by NERC and the full Announcement of Opportunity is available on the Valuing Nature pages of the NERC website

Call Launch Event 

Videos and presentations from the Call Launch Event on 14 July 2015 are available here, including a funders question & answer session.

Offers Tool

The web tool to help bidders find offers of partnership is available here  (including research ideas, case studies, datasets and secondments).

Reports Used in Shaping the Call 

These reports were produced following three community engagement activities:

  • Meeting of the Valuing Nature Business Interest Group which outlines interests from businesses in the call and opportunities to maximise impact through business engagement
  • Scoping Workshop held for researchers and policy makers to identify key areas of interest for the call
  • Web Survey in which respondents were asked to identify key questions and challenges for the Health and Wellbeing goal.

Placements 2016 - Sarah Papworth

Valuing nature: how do conservation decision-makers choose what to save and how to save it?

Evidence-based decision-making is crucial for ensuring best practice outcomes in diverse applied fields, including conservation. However, many practitioners rely on intuition and personal experience (system I decision-making) rather than reviewing and analytically processing information (system II decision-making). Conservation science is a value-based discipline, yet conservation planning has tended to assume that decision-makers are using system II decision-making. Thus a key question is how, and when, personal values and individual differences (system I) impact the decisions made by conservation practitioners.

The placement included training in psychological theory and methods, which were relevant for answering this question (placement phase I) and allow cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas between the candidate and host at the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL). The placement was also used to develop and execute a project that forms part of the candidate’s long-term research programme, using methods from social and biological sciences to understand human behaviour in contexts relevant to biodiversity conservation (placement phase II). The candidate’s past research is truly interdisciplinary: although the candidate has formal training in both anthropology and biology, this placement would allow the candidate to gain understanding of key concepts and related methodological techniques in psychology.

Placement information: 

End of placement presentation 

End of placement video (and shown below)

Starting placement presentation introducing placement ideas

End of placement video

Identifying UK Ecosystem Tipping Points

This project is funded as part of the Tipping Points Goal of the Valuing Nature Programme.


Identifying potential tipping points in the benefits derived from the UK's land ecosystems

Principal Investigator

  • Prof Tim Lenton, University of Exeter


  • Professor Ian Julian Bateman, University of Exeter
  • Professor Brett Day, University of Exeter
  • Dr Angela Gallego-Sala, University of Exeter
  • Professor Stephen Sitch, University of Exeter
  • Dr Anna Harper, University of Exeter

Project Partners

  • Dr Huw Lewis, Met Office
  • Dr Claudie Beaulieu, University of Southampton

Project Summary

Our research aims to identify whether the benefits flowing to us from the UK's land ecosystems - including the provision of food, recreational value, water quality, natural flood protection, and greenhouse gas storage - could pass 'tipping points' this century as a result of climate change, land-use change, policy change and their interaction. Here we take a 'tipping point' to mean a large and persistent change in the benefits flowing from an ecosystem. As such it could be due to a tipping point in the drivers of an ecosystem - here climate change, land-use change, or policy change - or it could be due to a tipping point within the ecosystem itself such that even a small change in its drivers triggers a large change in the flow of benefits.

Our aim is to understand which of these kinds of tipping points could occur and predict when they might occur and where they might arise geographically. To assess this we will use a set of three state-of-the-art models combined with mathematical methods of tipping point detection.

The three models will capture (at unprecedented spatial resolution) the functioning of the UK's land ecosystems, the benefits flowing from them, and how they are affected by climate change, land-use change and policy change. Two of these models - called 'JULES' and 'LPX' - capture the cycling of water and carbon through ecosystems, including changes in vegetation. We will use them to explore potential tipping points in carbon storage, greenhouse gas fluxes, and freshwater services, including natural flood protection - which is provided by water storage in upland peatlands and lowland flood plains. We will also examine the prediction that blanket bogs, and the large stores of carbon they hold, are threatened to disappear due to climate change.

The resulting understanding will be used to update the third model - called 'TIM' (the integrated model) - which brings together our natural science knowledge of ecosystem processes with economic understanding of how farmers and foresters change their use of the land when climate or policy changes. As 75% of the UK is some form of managed agricultural land, this understanding of the influences upon human land-use is crucial. We will improve the representation of carbon stocks and greenhouse gas fluxes in TIM, based on the other models, and include a representation of natural flood protection. We will also drive the model with new, high resolution climate change projections and use TIM to examine how land users will respond to climate change across different areas of the country.

Our methods for detecting tipping point will be applied to the output of the three models to examine where and what type of tipping points occur under different scenarios for the future of the UK climate. As TIM is used in the UK National Ecosystem Assessment and its follow-on this will provide a direct feed-through to policy advice, especially via the UK government's 'Natural Capital Committee'. The 'tipping point enabled' version of TIM will be used to revisit existing climate change and policy scenarios to see how the results and corresponding advice are altered.

The main outcomes of the project will be the first integrated analysis of potential tipping points in the benefits flowing from UK land ecosystem services, together with important improvements to the established framework (TIM) used for quantifying and evaluating UK ecosystem stocks and benefit flows, and assessing policy options.


Business Impact School 2016 - Jonathan Dobson

Jonathan Dobson
Sustainability Advisor, United Utilities 

Link to presentation -
Benefits and limitations of integrating NCA and ESA into water company activities: view from the water sector

Jonathan summarises the main points of his presentation in the video below:

Business Impact School 2016 - Rosa Mato Amboage

Rosa Mato Amboage
PhD student and Environmental Economics Teaching Fellow University of York

Link to presentation - Public-Private Partnerships for the Management of Pests and Invasive Species

Rosa summarises the main points of her presentation in the video below:

Valuing Nature Annual Conference 2016

The first Valuing Nature Annual Conference was held in Manchester on 18 October 2016. This national event was attended by 170 people and provided the opportunity for researchers, practitioners, business and policy makers to share knowledge and research. The conference included presentations, interactive sessions, posters and networking opportunities.  The topics covered included:

  • Different approaches to valuing nature
  • Research into new ways to understand nature’s value and to communicate with different audiences
  • Developments in research, policy and business drivers and the application of valuation information in practice.

       Conference Programme 


Introduction – Rosie Hails

Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team Activities

Lightning Talks 

Valuing landscape condition
Lisa Norton, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology 
SENCE maps to communicate natures value
Katie Medcalf, Environment Systems
BESS-EO: Earth Observation for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Beth Cole, University of Leicester
Framework to target nature based solutions aimed at engaging people with nature
Liz O’Brien, Forest Research
Demonstrating the multiple benefits of wetlands for nature and society
Hannah Robson, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
Manchester’s Great Outdoors: a Green & Blue Infrastructure Strategy
David Barlow, Manchester City Council
Wellbeing valuation and the University of Manchester Living Campus
Kelly Watson, University of Manchester

Valuing Nature Projects

Health & Wellbeing 

  • WetlandLIFE: Taking the Bite out of Wetlands 
        Presentation   Project Summary   -   Tim Acott, University of Greenwich
  • Green Infrastructure to promote Health & wellbeing In an Ageing population (GHIA) 
        Presentation   Project Summary   - Sarah Lindley, University of Manchester
  • Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature (IWUN)  
        Presentation   Project Summary   -  Anna Jorgenson, University of Sheffield
  • CoastWEB: Valuing the contribution which coastal habitats make to human health and wellbeing, with a focus on coastal flooding 
        Presentation   Project Summary   -  Nicola Beaumont, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Understanding ecosystem stocks and tipping points

  • Understanding ecosystem stocks and tipping points in UK blanket peatlands
      Presentation   Project Summary   -   Mark Reed, Newcastle University 
  • Identifying potential tipping points in benefits derived from the UK’s land ecosystems
    Presentation   Project Summary   -   Ian Bateman, University of Exeter
  • Mechanisms and consequences of tipping points in lowland agricultural landscapes
      Presentation   Project Summary   -   Adrian Newton, Bournemouth University


Parallel Sessions

A: Communicating Nature’s Value                                
    Jonathan Porter (Chair), Countryscape                        
    Adam Dutton, RSPB                                                      
    Euan Hall, Land Trust                                                   
    Natalie Ganpatsingh, Intelligent Healthcare

B: Making the Business Case
    Guy Duke (Chair), Independent Consultant
    Alice Sireyjol, PwC (ppt not uploaded)

C: Demystifying Economic Valuation

    Ece Ozdemiroglu, eftec (Chair) &
    Ian Bateman, University of Exeter
    Brett Day, University of Exeter
    Emily Connors,  Office of National Statistics                                                                                                              

D: Participatory Processes
     Jonathan Porter (Chair), Countryscape
     David Edwards, Forest Research
     Rosalind Bark, University of Leeds Marc Metzger,
     Anja Liski & Aster de Vries Lentsch, University of Edinburgh

E: Health Value of Green Space                                   
    Michael Winter (Chair), University of Exeter
    Euan Hall, The Land Trust
    Ben Williams, Centre for Sustainable Healthcare
    Dan Bloomfield, University of Exeter

F: Natural Capital Protocol
    Marta Santamaria, Natural Capital Coalition & Ece Ozdemiroglu, eftec

Placements 2017 - Stephen McConnachie

Social and Cultural Values of Urban Nature in Walworth, South London.

In this placement, anthropologist Dr Stephen McConnachie will work with Social Life, a social research agency that works on the relationship between people and places. Specifically, he will contribute to an ongoing project in Walworth, south London that seeks to understand the ‘feeling’, or the social and cultural value, of urban spaces and how to integrate this intangible knowledge into urban regeneration frameworks. Through participatory and storytelling methods with local people, he will explore the social and cultural meanings of urban nature and different ways in which they are valued. In addition to local parks and gardens, this includes working with smaller instances of urban nature such as street trees.
The placement will develop skills in applied participatory methods, storytelling for research, and community engagement, as well as contributions to policy and planning documents on urban regeneration in London. Social Life are also keen to learn from his academic ethnographic experience, enabling a knowledge and skills share. The placement will have two main outputs: a toolkit for using participatory research on socio-cultural values of urban nature for use by other community groups and practitioners, and a collaborative contribution exploring community values of urban nature for the 2017 Unusual Suspects Festival.

Introduction to placement - presentation

Link to Blog 

Natural Capital Synthesis Reports

Kick off meeting -Jan 2018

This call funded researchers to produce short synthesis reports which a) define the current state of knowledge to address specific policy or practice needs in the language and format that is accessible to users; and b) define key gaps in knowledge that should be addressed by further research.

The funding has been provided by the Natural Environment Research Council as part of the Valuing Nature Programme.

The successful applicants and links to their project page are listed below:

Jessica Davies

Project Page: Soil natural capital valuation needs for agri-food businesses.  

Organisation: Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business, Lancaster Environment Centre

Clare Lawson

Project Page: The natural capital of floodplains as a function of land use.

Organisation: School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, The Open University

Richard Payne

Project Page: Natural capital trade‐offs in forested peatlands.

Organisation: University of York

Rachel Stubbington

Project Page: The natural capital of temporary rivers: characterising the value of dynamic aquatic‐terrestrial habitats.

Organisation: Biosciences Team, School of Science and Technology Nottingham Trent University

Dan Van der Horst

Project Page: Trends and limits in the early adoption of Natural Capital in the Private Sector.

Organisation: University of Edinburgh

Placements 2017/2018 - Poppy Nicol

Sharing Stories, Sharing collections: Valuing Biodiversity in Wales

Home: Sustainable Places Research Institute/School of Social Science, Cardiff University.

Host: Museum of Wales Amgueddfa Cymru-National  

Project Summary

A collaboration between the Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE), Cardiff University (CU) and Amgueddfa Cymru–National Museum of Wales (AC-NMW), this placement addresses the Valuing Nature Programme second research goal: improving understanding of the role of biodiversity and ecosystem services in human health and well-being. The placement investigates how the Economic Botany Collection at National Museum Cardiff can add value to public understanding of biodiversity and contribute to the AC-NMW well-being duty (Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (WBFGA), 2015.

During this placement I have investigated how the Economic Botany Collection has the potential to value to public understanding of biodiversity and contribute to the Museum’s well-being duty (WBFGA 2015), through public consultation with members of the public in South Wales (including young people, gardeners, ecologists, teachers, artists, craftspeople and chefs). Participants were introduced to the Collection and invited to contribute to the Collections Strategy and an emerging framework of value. I also discussed the Collections Strategy with external stakeholders (including representatives from higher education, public health, community growing, industry and a number of freelance artists).

Drawing upon the findings of the consultations, the placement report highlights a number of ways in which the AC-NMW EBC can be developed (in terms of acquisition, display and associated activities) to improve the role of the Collection in supporting valuing and understanding of biodiversity and well-being.

Along with further integrating the Well Being Future Generations Act Goals into the Collections Strategy, a critical next step for the Collection is digitisation of the EBC and development of a Digital Strategy. There is further opportunity for development of an intergenerational learning programme; exploration of research-led Curation opportunities and collaboration with other public institutions with Economic Botany Collections and Biocultural Collections (including museums botanic gardens and universities). There is also potential for crowdsourcing for development of the online catalogue, particularly via communities of practice and interest.

Please follow the blog links for further info.


Initial Presentation

Final Placement presentation (click to view):