On 1st June, the West of England Nature Partnership was delighted to welcome over 100 practitioners to their Annual Conference, being held at the Somerdale Pavilion in Keynsham. The event was our biggest to date and showed the breadth and scope of everything that is currently happening through the partnership.
The theme of the conference was ‘future-proofing our environment in the West of England’. Ian Barrett, CEO of Avon Wildlife Trust and WENP Board Member opened the conference, handing over to Dr Dominic Hogg, WENP’s Chair. Dominic provided an overview of the areas the partnership has been focusing on and ambitions for the future. The audience then heard about one of our biggest pieces of work to date – the launch of our Ecosystem Service Assessment and were provided with 3 perspectives on the impact of ecosystem service mapping. Firstly, Geoff Richards (Defra), discussed what was happening nationally with thinking around natural capital and the Government’s ambition to develop 25 year environment plan. Lucy Rogers (Avon Wildlife Trust) then explained how the ecosystem maps could help conservation efforts across the region. Finally, Brian Glasson (South Gloucestershire Council) explored how the maps could be used to help regional planning decisions.
In the afternoon, the delegates had the choice of 3 interactive workshops; Landscape-scale conservation – a recipe for success!; Health & Wellbeing – the nature connections; and Nature-Based Solutions – a tale of two mapping projects.
photographs © joncraig.co.uk