Environmental projects which map some of the most important benefits we get from nature have been brought together for the first time in an online database, following national survey work by researchers in the University of York Environment Department.
The Ecosystem Service Mapping Gateway provides information about projects and activities underway across the country to study the ways our environment provides natural services such as regulating climate, maintaining healthy soils and reducing pollution.
Around 50 projects are currently listed covering a wide range of topics including flood control, wild species diversity and pollination. The organisations listed include local authorities, wildlife trusts, universities and community groups.
The mapping gateway project has been funded by Natural England.
Dr Zoe Austin, research fellow at the University of York Environment Department said:
"The database brings together information on mapping initiatives into a single, searchable site. This will allow people working on similar projects to see where there might be opportunities for collaboration and information sharing.
"The information will also contribute to national and local environmental planning issues helping to inform decisions about how our landscapes should be used and developed."
The database has been developed as part of the University's Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability Directorate (BESS), a six-year research project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
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The Ecosystem Service Mapping Gateway is at www.nerc-bess.net/index.php/bess-news/114-new-ecosystem-service-mapping-gateway