Natural Capital Synthesis Reports webinar sessions

Following the publication of the Natural Capital Synthesis Reports as part of the Valuing Nature Programme, we ran a series of webinar sessions in early 2019. Each session featured a short presentation by a report author followed by questions.

Quick Webinar Video Links

24 January 2019,  The Natural Capital of Temporary Rivers
Rachel Stubbington  

5 February 2019,   The Natural Capital of Floodplains 
Clare Lawson & Emma Rothero   

6 February 2019,  Natural capital trade-offs in afforested peatlands 
Richard Payne   

13 February 2019,  Soil natural capital valuation in agri-food businesses 
Jess Davies & Victoria Janes-Bassett

19 February 2019,  Monetary natural capital assessment in the private sector

Rose Pritchard  



Thursday 24 January 2019 – 13:00 - 14.00

Rachel Stubbington – The Natural Capital of Temporary Rivers   (Report)

‘Temporary rivers are natural ecosystems that can sometimes lose all surface water. In the UK, they range from the ‘winterbourne’ reaches of our celebrated chalk rivers to headwater streams in remote uplands. Although valued during flowing phases for their biodiversity and provision of recreational opportunities, many people see dry channels as symbols of ecological degradation, which overlooks the value of natural temporary streams: dynamic ecosystems that support high biodiversity including aquatic and terrestrial species during wet and dry phases, respectively. In this webinar, Rachel Stubbington – lead author of The Natural Capital of Temporary Rivers – will explore these ecosystems’ natural assets and link these to ecosystem services that people value, such as flood protection, water supply, and pollution control. By suggesting metrics that enable progress towards service provision goals to be tracked, Rachel and her colleagues’ research could enable future valuations of service provision and inform management strategies that maintain and enhance these dynamic ecosystems and the species and services they support.’  

Wednesday 5 February 2019 – 12.30-13.30

Clare Lawson & Emma Rothero – The Natural Capital of Floodplains  (Report)

Over the past eighty years there has been a widespread transformation of floodplains from a naturally functioning landscape to a highly modified one, allowing the expansion of intensive agriculture and urban development to occur within the floodplain. Floodplains naturally support a wide range of habitats including species-rich meadows, wet woodland and fens. While these threatened habitats still remain within floodplains, their extent is much reduced.

In a world of public money for public goods, floodplains have the capability of delivering a broad range of ecosystem goods and services. Many of these goods and services result from the interface between terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and the complex relationships between hydrological, physical, biogeochemical and ecological processes and are therefore not obtainable from other landscapes. It is already accepted that species-rich habitats have a vital role to play in the conservation of our natural and social heritage. However, they may provide a wider range of ecosystem service benefits in floodplains when compared to more intensive land-use types.

This webinar will discuss the benefits delivered by floodplains. Using species-rich floodplain meadows as a case study, we will demonstrate that floodplains can sustain productive agriculture in addition to delivering these benefits. We will also explore the potential benefit gain from expanding species-rich habitats within floodplains.’ 

Thursday 6 February 2019, 13:00 - 14:00

Richard Payne - Natural capital trade-offs in afforested peatlands  (Report)

'Large areas of Britain's peatlands were planted with non-native conifers in the twentieth century. Forest expansion onto peat was promoted to secure domestic timber supply and encourage employment in rural areas, but proved controversial and was ultimately halted. As trees reach harvesting age there are important questions about what should be done with these areas next, with principal options including continued forestry and restoration to open habitats. Change in different forms of natural capital is key to this decision-making.' 

Wednesday 13 February 2019 – 13-14.00

Jess Davies & Victoria Janes-Bassett - Soil natural capital valuation in agri-food businesses  (Report)

‘Soils are a key natural asset in agri-food supply chains. Yet their valuation is often overlooked as few ecosystems services flow directly from soils to goods, or human benefits. This synthesis report considered what a natural capital approach to soil could offer businesses, existing approaches, and key gaps to implementing this in practice.’  

Tuesday 19 February 2019 – 13-14.00

Rose Pritchard - Monetary natural capital assessment in the private sector  (Report)

‘Businesses have numerous impacts and dependencies upon natural capital which are not captured in normal financial accounting. Much natural capital is freely available, and businesses impact and dependencies on natural capital are therefore not captured in financial accounts. Valuing natural capital in monetary terms makes the invisible visible, and therefore theoretically motivates more sustainable practices.

Monetary valuation of natural capital has only recently begun to gain momentum in the private sector. This synthesis report recognises this trend and aims to provide an accessible overview of the current status of private sector natural capital assessment and to identify key needs for research in this rapidly evolving area.'