Cumulus Consultants, in partnership with 3D Rural Surveyors, was delighted to team up with Edward Trevor-Barnston, to produce a Natural Capital Assessment and Strategy for the family’s Barnston Estate in Cheshire.
The family’s vision is to manage the Estate embracing a ‘Triple Bottom Line’ philosophy, balancing environmental, social and economic needs.
The Natural Capital Assessment involved
- analysing the Barnston Estate’s natural capital assets and ecosystem services;
- examining the dependencies and impacts of the Estate’s enterprises on natural capital;
- exploring and prioritising the Estate’s natural capital risks and opportunities.
Barnston Estate’s enterprises are dependent on a wide variety of natural capital assets, including diverse soils, highly productive grasslands, mixed woodland and a network of trees, hedges, ponds and watercourses.
While the Estate has made a positive impact over the last decade in terms of crop and livestock production, timber production, recreation and cultural heritage services, there have been more mixed impacts on regulating services relating to soil/water/air quality, local climate, flood, diseases and pests, and wild species diversity.
Insights and Outcomes
Key natural capital risks and opportunities were analysed to identify potential priorities both for the Estate itself and for wider society. Future priorities include:
- Promoting low carbon, nature-friendly farm management;
- Increasing engagement with stakeholders;
- Capitalising on public and private sector income streams.
The Natural Capital Assessment has enabled the Estate to fully understand its natural capital assets and where the risks and opportunities lie. This has informed the production of a Natural Capital Strategy focused on improving the Estate’s long-term resilience and integrating natural capital into decision-making, management and marketing on the Estate in a holistic way.
Building on the report, a Whole Estate Natural Capital Plan with regular reviews is now being developed as an implementation scheme for the next 20 years.
Visit our dedicated Natural Capital webpage to download our FREE publication ‘What does Natural Capital mean for your business?’ or contact one of our team of specialist consultants for further advice.