Ecosystem services are the benefits we get from nature. These include a wide range of benefits such as food, energy, clean air and water, regulation of risks (floods, droughts, erosion) and recreation or spiritual benefits. The Ecosystem Services Transfer Toolkit is a literature review of the effect of land management actions on the provision of ecosystem services.
The Toolkit is in the form of an Excel spreadsheet with an accompanying User Guide and Quick Start Guide. The spreadsheet can be searched and queried to find evidence of the effects of specific land management actions on ecosystem services provided by upland, freshwater, urban, lowland agriculture, coastal and marine habitats. It also assesses how transferable the effect of a land management action on ecosystem services may be, if done in a different place.
To provide easy access to the evidence in the Excel spreadsheet, a series of Managing Ecosystem Services Evidence Review fact sheets have been produced. Each fact sheet summarises the evidence for changes in ecosystem service provision from a land management action in a broad habitat type, for example, increasing urban trees and woodlands. An introductory sheet explains how the fact sheets have been compiled and how to interpret the graphics. Both the toolkit and the fact sheets indicate the magnitude of an effect on an ecosystem service and the strength of the supporting evidence. References are provided for all the evidence and, where available, abstracts from the peer-reviewed papers are included in the toolkit.
The findings published here may be used by Natural England staff and anyone else involved in making land management decisions, to enable them to manage for ecosystem services, or understand the consequences of their management actions on ecosystem services.
The Ecosystem Services Transfer Toolkit and Managing Ecosystem Services Evidence Review have been co-developed by the University of York and Natural England, with additional support from the NERC Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Sustainability (BESS) programme (grant references NE/K001620/1 and NE/N000307/1).