Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Natural capital in England - protection and enhancement, assessing value, and policy development

Morning, Thursday, 2nd April 2020

Central London


This conference will discuss the next steps for natural capital in England, including assessing the value of public goods.

It is timed to take place following the anticipated introduction of the full Environment Bill in the next parliament - and will focus on its proposals for:

  • improving air and water quality,
  • restoring and enhancing nature and green spaces, and
  • developing a more sustainable resource and waste management system.

Protection of natural capital

Following the publication of the final report from the Landscapes Review, sessions will examine the potential for extending existing designated areas and creating new ones, and how to further enhance the environment and biodiversity of existing National parks and AONBs.

Attendees will also look at the lessons that could be learned from the Pioneer projects, and how approaches developed in the Landscape Pioneer can be used as templates at a national scale.

Delegates will also look at the potential for designated areas to become leaders in Nature Recovery Networks - particularly with councils being required to develop nature recovery strategies.

They will consider how to address the challenges for the development of such networks, including habitat banking, land management and natural capital accounting.

We also expect discussion on the potential challenges of integrating the Government’s net gain criteria into the early planning phases of project design, as well as when considering planning permission applications.

Land management

With the Agriculture Bill expected to be reintroduced to Parliament, further sessions look at potential changes to land management processes - such as the move towards a public goods payment system - and the incentives for farmers and landowners to improve the natural environment, including providing the public access to the countryside.

Natural capital accounting

Delegates will assess the societal and economic benefits of maintaining and improving natural capital across the UK.

Areas for discussion include the potential better uses of natural capital resources such as woodland, water and livestock, as well as the opportunities to engage with businesses to better balance resource use and environmental quality.

Monitoring progression and utilising data

Further sessions will examine the priorities for the implementation of the Government’s proposed annual Environment Improvement Plans - including potential challenges for monitoring and data collection.

Keynote Speakers

Edward Barker

Director, Natural Environment, Defra

Professor David Hill

Chairman, The Environment Bank

Andy Croxford

Deputy Director, Environment Agency

Keynote Speakers

Professor David Hill

Chairman, The Environment Bank

Andy Croxford

Deputy Director, Environment Agency

Edward Barker

Director, Natural Environment, Defra


Lord Inglewood

Member, Cumbria Local Nature Partnership


Andrew Cook

Executive Director, Environment, Pegasus Group

Professor Rosie Hails

Director, Nature and Science, National Trust

Yvette de Garis

Head, Environmental Engagement, Thames Water

Caroline May

Head of Environment, Health and Safety, Europe, Middle East and Asia and Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright