Catchment based approaches to land management and the delivery of various ecosystem services have considerable potential to translate the academic-sounding concepts of ‘ecosystem services and valuing nature’ into effective actions on the ground. However, they are accompanied by challenges of how to effectively engage different stakeholder groups in decision making processes up and downstream of specific interventions. Integral to these challenges is the question of how to incorporate potentially different values and resolve potential conflicts early on in the decision process.
In the Evenlode catchment we have the potential for multiple scales of value being delivered through projects, and seek to achieve active engagement at different points and with very different groups of stakeholders. One of the best forms of engagement available to us is through the active promotion of demonstration sites, and the hosting of meetings and events when organisations and individuals can view past and current projects. We are fortunate to have several partner organisations who help facilitate this, including Cotswold’s Honeydale Farm:
Honeydale Farm – an example of a multiple-benefit scheme, delivered by partners: the Cotswold Rivers Trust, Cotswold Seeds and Windrush AEC Ltd. At an affordable cost of £10,000, the scheme builds components of wetland and woodland habitats in the Evenlode catchment and provides a useful local focal point to promote thinking about the benefits, costs and likely issues of revised land management.