New maps show the West of England’s natural assets, as never seen before
On Wednesday 18th May, we launched our Ecosystem Service Assessment maps, as part of our State of Environment Assessment. The maps illustrate where the local stock of natural capital assets and shows how green space is vital for things such as better water quality, local flood protection and pollination. The maps are designed to inform local decision making and help ensure that the West of England remains green and nature-rich place to live and visit.
The maps, known as ‘ecosystem service maps’ are the first time that nature’s services have been mapped and analysed in the West of England. Ecosystem services are the benefits that people get from nature, such as composting, air and water cleaning services, as well as for recreation opportunities. The maps were created using over 200 datasets and show where nature is working to support our economy and society.
Ian Barrett, CEO of Avon Wildlife Trust and WENP board member said “these maps represent the vital first step in better understanding the contributions nature provides to people in the West of England – we forget that without nature doing its job properly, we wouldn’t get the vital things we need for life – air, water and food. Natural ecosystems underpin our health, our wellbeing and our economy, therefore there is a real imperative to look after this vital resource”.
Matthew Heard, Area Manager for Natural England and WENP board member said “these innovative new maps will help enable growth and prosperity in the West of England that works with nature not against it. The maps will help make sure that the West of England remains a fantastic place to live and work. The West of England Nature Partnership (WENP) is using data and new technology to highlight the value of the environment.”
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