The environment and its ecosystems provide many benefits for people. Collectively, these are known as ecosystem services. England’s upland environment supplies a range of valuable ecosystem services. Examples include:
- landscapes and wildlife for recreation, challenge and learning – to improve health and well-being;
- climate regulation through carbon storage in soils and vegetation;
- fresh water supply;
- potential to reduce flood risk downstream; and
- production of energy, food and wood.
This work was commissioned as part of our Upland Futures Project, which is developing our long term vision for the upland environment in 2060. The aim of this work is to increase our knowledge of the evidence for the links between the environment (soils, climate vegetation etc), how it is used and managed and the provision and quality of four key ecosystem services.
The four ecosystem services considered in this report are:
- carbon storage and sequestration for climate regulation;
- water quality;
- flood mitigation; and
Natural England plan to use the findings in developing the right actions to take to address the challenges facing upland ecosystems and their provision of services.