We aim to create the UK's first dedicated centre that will become a central point for people, communities, landowners, and bodies to learn about the role that nature plays in underpinning society.
The centre will aim to influence and inform policy and promote knowledge and skills to help deliver our national strategies.
The emphasis will be on addressing the issues of climate change, biodiversity loss, environmental pollution, poor health and wellbeing and promoting the many and varied services that our ecosystem provide to society.
It will connect more people to nature in a deeper and more holistic way; enabling members of the public, community and voluntary groups, parish councils, local authorities, developers, landowners and others to understand the roles that the environment plays in providing a good quality of life.
The importance of nature to our society
Have you ever considered that every aspect of your daily life is made possible because of the services that our ecosystems provide? The land has always been shaped by those living and working within it. However, over the last 70 years the demands we place on the land have grown. We require a lot from our land – food, housing, energy, infrastructure and water. But we rely upon nature to provide clean air, moderate our climate, store and filter water, and provide large areas for wildlife.
Pressures on our natural environment
We are facing uncertain times for our natural environments. Biodiversity, climate change, unsustainable methods of land management, and the over-development of land are issues that are all interconnected. Changes in one means increasing the pressures on the others, all resulting in negative consequences for human security and wellbeing.
The Centre for Nature & Society will:
Provide advice and training
- Deliver accredited and non-accredited training and workshops in environmental sustainability, water and soil, climate change, biodiversity gain, natural capital, ecosystem services, health and wellbeing, and other related courses.
- Promote the use of new technologies and data capture techniques (e.g. geographic information services, drones, machine learning, big data, AI).
- Create examples of nature-based solutions at our base at Burrough Court and elsewhere to enable people to see and experience the health, wellbeing and social services provided by nature.
- Create easy to use resources for groups, volunteers and communities to use and develop.
- Provide conferences to promote the role that nature has in underpinning society, sharing practices and outcomes achieved.
Provide peer to peer support
- Create and coordinate a networking and membership platform for our target groups to promote their work, share their experiences, develop delivery partnerships, strengthen organisations, and monitor outcomes in a straightforward and easy to replicate way.
- Create a network of trained volunteers and community groups to work with landowners, councils, and decision makers to help to measure and monitor the effects of sustainable practices and provide a strong evidence base to reduce the barriers between people and the land.
Deliver positive change
- Create a monitoring programme that provides evidence to policy makers about the social and environmental benefits derived by taking an ecosystems based approach.
- Work with academia to gather data and undertake research into nature-based solutions, natural capital, ecosystem services, and health and wellbeing with the aim of influencing policy.
- Create and promote citizen science projects, working with others to maximise impacts
- Promote digital and data based methods of landscape and geographic analysis, evaluation, creation and monitoring to enable people to visualise the impacts on their local areas and the opportunities afforded by improving their natural capital.
- Create a natural capital champion award for pioneering volunteers and those who have implemented change.
- Create a physical centre that is built to One Planet standards which embodies the natural capital approach. This will be designed through a national competition.