An ecosystem services pilot in the South West – building a framework for delivery

The research involved working closely with farmers in Exmoor, who are part of the catchments linked to the Wimbleball reservoir and also form part of Natural England’s Upland Ecosystem Services pilot areas. The approach taken by the research was to investigate, through a series of in-depth interviews with farmers, whether the different farm business strategies could be reconciled with the need to protect and enhance the ecosystem services on that farm and within the local area. The in-depth interviews were supported by the use of quantitative data available for the area and a series of workshops to verify the proposed delivery framework. The project began in July 2010, and was led by Janet Dwyer, with key input from Chris Short. It was completed in April 2011. It is hoped that this work will lead to further work to develop the pilot, based upon a local, territorial strategy developed with the full involvement of the farmers, in this area alongside other partners such as the Westcountry Rivers Trust, South West Water and the Exmoor National Park Authority.