Natural England Chief Scientist Report 2021 (NE775)

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The mission for Natural England’s Chief Scientist Directorate, is to ‘develop evidence and provide scientific advice to drive decision-making for nature recovery’.
We want to continuously uphold a science and evidence infrastructure that is cross-cutting and accessible, providing services across the organisation and beyond that is capable of supporting innovative investigations and experimentation. Using the best available evidence enables everyone to integrate more science and evidence into their work and be confident to use the data available.
Action for nature’s recovery needs to be evidence-led and the hugely impressive diversity of work described in this report illustrates the key role played by Natural England in environmental and conservation science.
This Chief Scientist Report describes just a few of the many examples where the best available evidence has been applied across the wide breadth and depth of science and evidence in Natural England. For example, the contribution of heathland mapping in defining Favourable Conservation Status of wet and dry heath within National Character Areas. This mapping project will help further refine our understanding of the distribution and relationship of these two habitats across England, and also how we manage and/or restore them to natural function.
I am extremely lucky in my role as Chair of Natural England’s Science Advisory Committee (NESAC) that I get to see first-hand the high quality science and evidence that Natural England produces. NESAC is a formal committee of Natural England’s Board, which involves highly respected, multi-disciplinary external academics that supports, challenges and oversees the quality of evidence produced within the Chief Scientist Directorate. I have been privileged to work with so many of our evidence and specialist staff over the years, who make all of this possible and whose contributions ensure our reputation.
Nature’s recovery is dependent on knowing its current state, the trends that put it there, understanding pressures that are causing change and addressing them through informed action. That is why this fourth Chief Scientist Report is focussing on the use of the best available evidence to inform our options and priorities, direct our decisions and shape our delivery.

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NE775 - Edition1: Natural England Chief Scientist Report 2021, PDF, 2.2 MB 2022/03/31