About the event
Three years into SWEEP, a five-year initiative funded by NERC under its Regional Impact from Science of the Environment (RISE) programme, the team are keen to share the results and success achieved to date in supporting the adoption of natural-capital led strategies and investments in the South West and beyond.
The virtual SWEEP Expo ran over 3 days, 20-22nd Oct 2020, consisting of a series of short themed sessions, made up from presentations, workshops and demonstrations of SWEEP tools and approaches, along with sessions led by our partners and stakeholders. Designed for all those involved in managing the natural environment, the event specifically looked at how it can be protected and enhanced whilst also producing gains for business, government and society.
Over the three days, attendees selected from a range of themed sessions focusing on Natural Capital approaches for marine, land, coastal change and whole-catchment settings. There was also a session exploring the importance of Natural Capital for a green recovery.
- Tony Juniper – writer, renown environmentalist and Chair of Natural England
- Luke Pollard – Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Labour MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport
- Dieter Helm – Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford and Independent Chair of the Natural Capital Committee.
Day 1 - Tuesday 20 October
9.00am – 11.00am
Session Chair: Ian Bateman
Opening Keynote: Net-zero and nature recovery: two sides of the same coin
Tony Juniper (Chair, Natural England)
Net-zero and nature recovery: two sides of the same coin
The SWEEP Approach
Martin Attrill (SWEEP)
An overview of the motivations and ethos behind SWEEP, as well as our overarching objectives and major achievements to date. We will summarise the range and breadth of SWEEP activity, and how we are working with our partners and stakeholders to put the Natural Capital Approach into practice in the South West and beyond.
The Pennon Group approach to Natural Capital thinking and delivery
David Smith (South West Water) and Dan Ulanowsky (Pennon Group)
An overview of the Pennon Group’s business ambitions and sustainability commitments, including those for natural capital and biodiversity, as well as the regulatory drivers that are faced. The presenters explain about the natural capital assessments and base-lining that has been conducted for the Pennon Group business, as well as how they intend to meet their targets in these areas. Finally the role that SWEEP had in helping to understand the future opportunities for South West Water around natural capital through their PR19 business planning process.
Keynote: The use of Natural Capital thinking for businesses, policy and social gains
Dieter Helm (Chair, Natural Capital Committee)
Dieter Helm is the independent chair of the Natural Capital Committee, as well as Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Economics at New College, Oxford. Dieter will give a brief introduction and overview of the Natural Capital Approach in broad principles, followed by an explanation of why it is important, and how it can benefit a whole range of different sectors, including private, public and communities/social wellbeing.
We have assembled a panel of leading experts from academia, government and business who are ready and able to answer all your Natural Capital related queries, questions and quandaries. Each panel member will introduce themselves briefly before we open up the ‘floor’ for an open question and answer session.
11.30am – 13.30pm
Session Chair: Mel Austen
Session synopsis: Innovative methods for applying the natural capital approach to the marine environment have been developed as part of SWEEP. These methods have already contributed significantly to the government’s Pioneer process, as part of the 25 Year Environment Plan, and have been widely applied and endorsed by many government agencies and NGOs. This session will explain the methods and tools that have been developed, what they offer and provide practical examples and insights into their application in the North Devon Marine Pioneer.
Introduction and welcome
Mel Austen (SWEEP)
Creating an Asset and Risk Register to deliver a Natural Capital approach
Sian Rees (SWEEP)
Applying the Natural Capital approach to Sustainability Appraisal
Tara Hooper (SWEEP)
The North Devon Marine Pioneer: Applying these approaches in practice – lessons learnt and how they will be applied
Aisling Lannin (Marine Management Organisation)
Panel session: Reflections from the North Devon Marine Pioneer Steering Group
Roger Covey (Natural England), Andrew Austen (North Devon Council); Sarah Young (WWF-UK); Andy Bell (North Devon Biosphere); Sofiya Stoyanova (Defra); Chrissie Ingle (Marine Pioneer Coordinator, North Devon Council); Aisling Lannin (Marine Management Organisation); Elizabeth West (Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority)
14.30am – 17.15pm
Session Chair: Diana Tingley
Each individual speaker/talk within this session will host a break-out room at the end of the session. This will give the audience time for more detailed Q&As.
Natural Environment Valuation Online (NEVO) Demonstration
Brett Day (SWEEP), Nathan Owen (SWEEP)
NEVO is a freely available web application developed in 2018 by the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy (LEEP) Institute, at the University of Exeter, with support from DEFRA and NERC. NEVO’s primary purpose is to help explore, quantify and make predictions about the benefits derived from land use change across England and Wales. NEVO brings the power of integrated modelling to the fingertips of practitioners who need to assess the range of environmental costs and benefits arising from policies and projects relating to potential changes in land use both now and into the future.
Lagas is a collaboration between SWEEP and Tevi to support Cornwall Council’s Environmental Growth Strategy. The Lagas information hub provides spatial information to inform the development and delivery of strategy and policies. The session will explore the guiding vision of the site, content and mapping methods, and ask how spatial information can be made more accessible and relevant to both policy makers and the general public.
Natural Capital Accounting in practice – examples with South-West National Parks & South West Water
Michela Faccioli (SWEEP), Clare Reid (Exmoor & Dartmoor National Park Authorities)
The Natural Capital Accounting approach is increasingly used to measure (in physical and monetary terms) changes in the extent and condition of natural capital stocks and in the resulting flow of ecosystem services over time. We will provide an overview of the methodology behind Natural Capital Accounting, and focus on two practical examples. One is a collaboration with South West Water to provide evidence on the expected environmental and social benefits of future management interventions. The other example is a critical assessment of the merits and limitations of natural capital accounting at local/organisational scale, working with Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks. We will conclude with lessons learned and discussing priority areas for the future.
The Operational Wave and Water Level Model (OWWL), available live on the Channel Coastal Observatory website, is a forecasting system designed to predict waves, water levels, and wave overtopping hazard at a local-scale around the South West coast of the UK. Forecasting sea conditions at 1-km resolution has opened up a number of opportunities to positively impact coastal safety, aquaculture, and marine renewable energy. In this presentation we will demonstrate OWWL, and give some examples of where it is being practically applied around the South West coast. To find out more about how it works, and why forecasting coastal overtopping is so important, watch our film.
Day 2 – Wednesday 21 October
10.00am – 13.00pm
Session Chair: Ross Brown
An overview and demonstration of a new ArcGIS online tool for the recording and reporting of catchment interventions in drinking water catchments. The interventions are delivered through South West Water’s Upstream Thinking catchment management programme by a team of delivery partners. The tool enables the multiple partners to record spatial data about their catchment activities, in a robust and standardised way, ensuring data quality and comparability. The online tool also automatically produces combined outputs of partner activities across multiple catchments for reporting purposes.
Integrating landscape-scale Surface Water Management in the South West
James Webber (SWEEP), Johnathan Hubbard (Pell Frischmann)
An introduction to the tools developed to support and evaluate surface water management opportunities across South West England from both a scientific and a practical perspective. We will present a range of outputs, including regional landscape mapping and Artificial Intelligence flood modelling, describing how these have been designed and developed. Johnathan Hubbard (Pell Frischmann) will discuss practical implementation of these tools, drawing from a range of case studies developed during SWEEP.
Exploring future scenarios for land use and water quality within South West catchments
- Future scenario setting and modelling water quality for aquaculture (Ross Brown, SWEEP)
- Catchment Based Approaches for water quality management (Nick Paling, Westcountry Rivers Trust)
- Agro-ecological Farming Framework and ELMS implementation in Devon (Sue Pritchard, Food Farming and Countryside Commission)
- Nutrient management and emissions trading (Paul Cottington, National Farmers Union)
- Managing the lowland and upland farmed landscapes of the SW for water quality and wider natural capital outcomes (David Smith, South West Water)
- Catchment Sensitive Farming (Rob Lamboll, Natural England)
This session will be followed by break out rooms for individual speakers to allow for topic-specific Q&A.
An interactive workshop to explore future scenarios for Environmental Land Management alongside urban development and projected climate change, with a view to modelling changes in water quality in South West catchments to secure sustainable food production from aquaculture and agriculture.
13.30pm – 16.45pm
Session Chair: James Webber
Each individual speaker/talk within this section will host a break-out room at the end of the session. This will give the audience time for more detailed Q&As.
Exploring business-led solutions to the pollinator decline problem
Grace Twiston-Davies (SWEEP), Hugh St Aubyn (Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), Alasdair Moore (Lost Gardens of Heligan)
Wild pollinators are in decline, causing serious concern for the future health of our environment, population and economy. We need to find long-term solutions to enhance pollinators and their habitats by collaborating with businesses, landowners, governmental organisations and conservationists. This presentation will explore business-led solutions to the pollinator decline problem and will showcase innovative businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly tackling global problems at a local scale.
For anyone with an interest or need to map woodland, moorland and key habitat types, such as land owners and managers. We will provide an insight into the process of developing robust, open source remote sensing tools to map habitat types and woodland extents. Examples of the possible outputs will be shared and a discussion of the potential applications to a wider community sought.
Policy uses of Lagas.co.uk – an exemplar of collaboration with Cornwall Council and AONB to deliver a natural capital approach
Jonathan Mosedale (SWEEP), Philippa Hoskin (Cornwall Council), Emma Browning (Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
An exemplar of SWEEP collaboration with Cornwall Council to support the delivery of key elements of Cornwall’s Environmental Growth Strategy including Nature Recovery Plans, the Climate Change Development Plan and Forest for Cornwall, and spatial allocations for nature in land use planning and Biodiversity Net Gain. The session will look at key policy drivers as well as the type of evidence and spatial mapping required for delivery. We will look at on-going challenges and opportunities for improving the evidence based used in strategy development and delivery.
How can we deliver ‘Environmental Net Gain’ in practice – in both the terrestrial and marine sectors? Exploring knowledge gaps, social preference trade-offs and delivery mechanisms
Michela Faccioli (SWEEP), Diana Tingley (SWEEP), Tara Hooper (SWEEP)
A kick-off workshop for SWEEP’s newest project which aims to help deliver the principle of ‘Environmental Net Gain’ (ENG), in the context of both terrestrial and marine planning developments; a commitment adopted into the UK Governments’ 25 Year Environmental Plan. The issues and project concepts will be introduced, and feedback sought on a range of possible ENG ‘implementation scenarios’ which will help shape the planned social preference survey.
Day 3 – Thursday 22 October
9.00am – 12.00noon
Session Chair: Gerd Masselink
Session synopsis: This workshop will provide a forum to explain what CCMAs are, what their function is, and how they can be defined using robust science-informed methodology. We will present an overview of the use of CCMAs in England, as well as the role of CCMAs in coastal planning in the UK. With our partners at Torridge and East Devon District Councils, we will illustrate how CCMAs are currently being used in coastal planning and policy. This session is relevant to coastal engineers and planners who are considering CCMAs, in the process of defining CCMAs, or who already have a CCMA that needs reviewing. It will also be relevant to any coastal stakeholder, landowner and those responsible for coastal infrastructure.
Each individual speaker/talk within this section will host a break-out room at the end of the session. This will give the audience time for more detailed Q&As.
Gerd Masselink (SWEEP), Steve Double (MP of St Austell and Newquay)
Josie-Alice Kirby (SWEEP)
Tim Poate (SWEEP), Kit Stokes (SWEEP)
Ian Rowland (Torridge District Council), Matthew Dickins (East Devon District Council)
13.00am – 15.45pm
Session Chair: Harry Barton
Keynote: Building a Green Recovery in the South West
Luke Pollard (Plymouth MP, Defra Shadow Secretary)
Luke Pollard was elected as the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport in June 2017, and re-elected in 2019. Luke has served many roles on Labour’s Shadow Environment Team, and was promoted to Shadow Environment Secretary in January 2020. As a passionate supporter of the environment, economy and communities in the South West, Luke will give a keynote address on the importance of a green recovery.
Perspectives from Wildlife Trusts on the importance of a Green Recovery
Harry Barton (Devon Wildlife Trust)
Harry will discuss the need to act on the incredibly important turning point we have at the moment as we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Stressing the importance of nature and Natural Capital and the crucial role it plays for the economy and our health and wellbeing, and how critical that it is considered in future decision making.
Sustainable Finance – What is sustainable finance today and how is it evolving?
Paul Edwards (NatWest), Rishi Madlani (NatWest), Ian Burrow (NatWest)
Join a discussion with NatWest focusing the financial sector’s capability to support the transition to a low carbon economy and to protect our natural capital. This will cover areas ranging from how banks are reallocating their capital to support the transition to a more sustainable future, the increased importance of ESG plans, targets and disclosures for larger Corporates raising funds in the debt market, and a look at one of the South West’s key sectors, agriculture, with a focus on how banks are supporting that sector in respect of the Paris Agreement.
How to develop an investable business case around a natural capital proposition – pilot work for the Government’s new natural environment Investment Readiness Fund
Dan Hird (Triodos Bank)
A new investment approach from the Government was announced recently to involve private sector in environmental projects, helping to tackle climate change and restore nature. Dan Hird, Head of Corporate Finance at Triodos Bank, will talk about one of the first pilot projects, involving the restoration of the River Caen Wetlands in North Devon. See the press release for more information.
We will discuss some of the key issues relating to natural capital and health inequalities in the context of Covid-19 and a green recovery. There will be a brief presentation considering how natural environments (including parks, beaches and private gardens) provide opportunities for health and wellbeing, and how visits to natural spaces have been changing in recent months. This will be followed by a discussion on the questions raised, particularly in terms of environmental and health inequalities and how these relationships can be considered in a green, and equitable, recovery.
Ian Bateman (SWEEP)
An opportunity to review and reflect on the variety of discussions and outcomes over the three days of the SWEEP Expo, with a particular focus on the importance of the environment to underpin all human well-being, economic and social. And how initiatives like SWEEP can support the post-Covid 19 economy grasp opportunities for green growth.
16.00pm – 17.00pm
Facilitated by: Grace Twiston-Davies, Andrew Edwards-Jones and Elizabeth Gabe-Thomas
In this consultative workshop, we will explore the types and formats of outputs that provide the most effective business case for decision-making on investments that enhance links between business opportunities, health and green and blue spaces. This workshop will be of interest to local authorities, GPs, health link workers, conservation organisations and landowners.
Break-out groups will focus on specific business case needs in the areas of investing in nature for health, and policy for pollinators.
Funded by NERC, the South West Partnership for Environment and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) is a 5-year collaboration between the Universities of Exeter, Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory with a large group of highly-engaged businesses, policy makers, NGOs, environmental charities and community partners.
We work together to champion the inclusion of the natural environment at the heart of economic and policy decision-making, and support the region’s decision-makers adopt a Natural Capital approach through the development of bespoke guidance, modelling and mapping tools.
SWEEP is facilitating changes to our partners’ decision-making culture and capabilities, contributing to the improvement of policies and management plans, and influencing significant regional investments for the good of both the environment and the economy.