Building our evidence base


Our Work

With a 6 step approach recommended by the review and endorsed by partners, the project is now set to develop the foundation of a LNCP – an open, accessible and consistent evidence base that utilises the best available data. We have provided direction and leadership by working with data owners, to challenge assumptions and existing ways of working to facilitate creating an evidence base that meets these objectives.  We are also providing an account and valuation to demonstrate the benefits of the natural environment in the Arc, whilst clearly outlining the gaps and limitations in an economic approach to assessing environmental values in isolation.

We are taking forward a small number of collaborative projects with partners across the Arc to explore specific aspects relating to a natural capital approach in more detail and at the more local scale. We have chosen projects that can deliver within our timescales, and add to the work of the LNCP and other local natural capital approaches and provide evidence for use in the Arc and beyond.

You can click on the icons below to view our work to date – making it easy to see the correlation between pieces of work and the type of evidence or information they provide.

Natural Capital Indicator Maps

We have created Natural Capital Indicator Maps for the Arc – These maps are based on Natural England’s National Natural Capital Atlas mapping approach and map the state of natural capital within the Arc in terms of its quantity, quality and location. We have used the Natural Capital Atlas methodology to create a visual and starting point for collaboration and have found these maps provide us with a fantastic base for explaining the inter-relationships between datasets and the ecosystems services that they provide. This work really gave us a head start in ensuring that we, and our stakeholders, understood what different datasets were telling us and which datasets were available to use.

A Detailed Baseline Map

We are producing a more detailed Natural Capital Baseline for the whole of the Arc – this shows the location and extent of natural capital across the Arc at a closer scale. This builds on and dovetails with the foundation of the natural capital indicator work – which brings in some qualitative data on the assets. Both of these pieces of work together provide the first essential step to enable us to look at ecosystem services, flows, benefits and values from natural capital assets in the Arc. Ultimately this evidence base supports the realising of opportunities and planning of other interventions that help to protect and enhance the natural environment of the Arc for people and nature.
Check back soon to view the baseline mapping work

Developing The Baseline

As part of developing the baseline, we commissioned our consultant, Jim Rouquette (Natural Capital Solutions), to finalise a number of reports that collectively ensure we have documented our approach and lessons learned. The first of these looks into how the Natural Capital Baseline was created, the second compares whether the use of different techniques or data (e.g. freely accessible or paid for data) makes a significance difference to the creation of a Natural Capital Baseline map, and the third outlines the lessons that have been learnt from this project. All of these reports will form a part of our final “framework or toolbox” for developing a natural capital plan that we are currently scoping out to help different audiences to take a natural capital approach, and build on our learnings, work to date and pilots. Click the reports on the right to review these learnings in full.
Using the natural capital baseline, we have completed an assessment of ecosystem services within the Arc. The review of tools and approaches set out which scenario each natural capital tool would be most appropriate for, and so we were able to decide which tool is best for us to quantify ecosystem services and provide this for the Arc. Using the review as a guide we have chosen to use a matrix-based approach using the scores developed for the Eco-metric. The Eco-metric is an ecosystem services scoring matrix currently being piloted by Natural England that has undergone extensive peer review.
The Eco-metric approach was described in the review as being “best for habitat-based natural capital asset register using a simple, replicable method”. It is a good basis for us to gather the Arc’s ecosystem services data quickly and to provide a foundation for further actions using other approaches that the review recommends.

Mapping Opportunities

The overarching objective of OxCam LNCP is to enable delivery of environmental protection and enhancement in the OxCam Arc. Baseline mapping of existing environmental assets allows us to see the most important assets that should be protected, enhanced, and highlight where we need to consider mapping opportunities for environmental improvements that deliver wider and more connected environmental benefits.
We held workshops and discussed the best way to do opportunity mapping with stakeholders and users of LNCP outputs to inform how we can best support improvements to the environment via this work. Based on this, we decided to collate the variety of environmental improvement opportunity areas and projects already identified across the Arc together in a single location. Doing this will allow those that have developed this thinking and are basing their decision-making on these maps to consider where there is join-up across different sectors and overlapping priorities.
This reports highlights the opportunities and priority areas that exist across the Arc already. By necessity, to make the content visible and meaningful they have been broken down into various maps although we would encourage organisations to work across these. Please do get in touch if you have any opportunities or datasets you would like us to consider including in our work.
Our ultimate aim is to include these maps on an interactive web map however this static report has been produced as a first step to provide information on the types of opportunities in existence and to link to where they are hosted and where to find out more information.

A Natural Capital Account

The Natural Capital Account for the OxCam Arc has been finalised by the LNCP team. It helps to show some of the value nature provides – both in monetary terms and through highlighting the wider benefits to society. The account and the information used to calculate many of the benefits is derived from our baseline mapping work and includes information about the landscape, pressures and opportunities unique to the area.
The account summary highlights the value of the benefits natural capital provides to society – and all the interlinking and overlapping dependencies, but it also shows the gaps in the evidence and understanding which are just as important. A natural capital approach is about everyone understanding all of the multiple benefits that come from nature, and their value to society up front.
Looking at the flow from assets to services to values is important: if we only focus on the benefits and values in isolation, we miss that it’s the assets we have to look after. The quality and quantity of these assets change over time due to pressures and drivers of change, such as human population growth, climate change, and other factors. This will need to be monitored going forward, but our account provides a snapshot in time and a base for future comparisons to be made.
You can review our Account Summary for the Arc – A snapshot of the value of nature – by clicking the top link on the right. We are aiming for this document to help businesses and organisations within the Arc understand more about the value of nature. Building on this understanding, we want organisations and individuals to consider how they can build the natural capital approach into their projects and ways of working, and to use our tools and evidence base to maximise investment in the environment.
A full report on the account and our natural capital and ecosystem services evidence base is in development. This will tell the story of the development of our data and what it tells us about the natural capital within the OxCam Arc. Should you want to see the account workings in full, or talk to us about our work on this, please contact us

Risks and Pressures

This pressures and risk document is intended to be a broad summary of current issues and those likely to arise relating to natural capital in the Arc. It is not a systematic analysis of impacts, the geographical size of the Arc means that it is not feasible to create a detailed asset register, which we believe would be more appropriately created on a smaller geographical scales. Two main categories of pressure have been identified: Population increase including the development of land for homes & businesses; and Climate Change.