Celebrating a good year for Cumulus – the challenges, impacts and results

A good year is worth noting and celebrating, and 2021/22 was one such year for the team at Cumulus – both challenging and productive. We thought it would be good to share with you some of the highlights to bring you up to date on the type of work we’re involved with, the problems we’re seeking to solve and how we’re changing to do more going forward!

Planet – our impact

Our work includes estate-based natural capital assessments and strategies and a range of bespoke work, for example developing a natural capital assessment template for NatureScot.  We are increasingly focussed on developing long term strategic plans for estates and corporate/institutional landowners, integrating a natural capital approach, net zero ambition and agricultural transition. Our clients range from Glynde Estates on the south coast through to the Glenlivet Estate in the Cairngorms. We have also undertaken natural capital assessments overseas, for land holdings in the US and Australia. Our work and impact stretched over 300,000 acres.

Contributing to the design and development of the environmental land management schemes is another key area of work. This includes verifying payments for Defra and undertaking research and economic modelling as part of tests and trials (see separate news), and contributing to future scheme design in Scotland.  

Our agriculture and forestry policy work has focused on agroecology and agroforestry, both fascinating and challenging areas (see separate news). A highlight was presenting at the Soil Association’s ‘Nature & Net Zero & Food Security’ conference’ in London in April. Our track record on researching and developing policies and schemes which integrate farming and environmental objectives now reaches back over 25 years.

We continue to contribute to the fisheries and marine sector too. A further project for Seafood Scotland involved developing a Net Zero Toolkit to help move the Scottish seafood sector in a more sustainable direction. We also worked with Opportunity North East and the Scottish Seafood Association to review the Seafood Transformation Project. We are passionate about supporting the development of a sustainable blue economy.

Elsewhere, our sustainable economies work includes evaluating the LIFE Welsh Raised Bogs project for Natural Resources Wales, looking at the socio-economic impacts of the £4m project.

At the heart of our work, and helping us keep our feet on the ground, is rural surveying. Last year this included: scheme and other professional work over 10,000 acres of retained estates and farms; and environmental rural surveying for Natural England’s NNR Team. Increasingly we are integrating our rural surveying and natural capital expertise to achieve more sustainable estate management going forward.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the commitment of those involved. Our thanks go to all the team, associates, partners and clients that made it a good year for Cumulus.

Year ahead

For 2022/23, we’re very much looking forward to: developing our natural capital services to further integrate net zero and ESG goals; working more with institutional and other landowners, as well as investors into natural capital; and growing international projects and networks.

Paul Silcock, Managing Director, Cumulus said;

“Despite the global and domestic challenges, we remain very positive about the critical role which the land and marine sectors will play in the future, encompassing both food production and a wide range of ecosystem services.  There is a huge need for joined-up thinking, creativity, practical solutions, and a long-term perspective. We are really keen to play our part.”

If you would like to discuss anything further, or to find out about working with us, please get in touch.