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Chartered Institution of Water and
Environmental Management (CIWEM)

106-109 Saffron Hill, London, EC1N 8QS  
Tel: 020 7831 3110   Fax: 020 7405 4967

Natural Capital

Natural capital is the land, air, water, living organisms and geological materials, forms and processes that, globally, provide us with ecosystem-based goods and services imperative for survival and well-being. Furthermore, it is the basis for all human economic activity.

The Natural Capital Network (NCN) is the primary focal point of CIWEM that is associated with natural capital and all related topics, providing the Institution with an ability to pool expert knowledge and have a powerful and influential voice on natural capital issues, with a wide-ranging international audience.

The NCN has adopted a definition of natural capital that is wide-ranging, robust and less susceptible to vagaries arising from changing buzz-words, policy and other trends.  It provides a home, within CIWEM, to a diverse range of technical areas that have extended the role and capabilities of the Institute over the last decade (e.g. themes such as biodiversity, geodiversity, landscape, soils, human interactions with the environment, ecosystem services, catchment based approach and sustainability, and how best to deliver key legislation and policy on the ground such as the Water Framework Directive, Habitats Directive, Natural Environment White Paper, Marine and Coastal Access Act).


Key areas of work include

  • Promoting the recognition, at the highest level, of the multiple and critical benefits provided by the natural capital of current environments (e.g. flood protection, atmospheric regulation, food production, biodiversity, energy, water, materials, shelter, medicines, art, amenity etc) and those used but generated in past environments (e.g. earth materials, energy sources and landscape) and to ensure that future environments are capable of sustainably maintaining these resources.


  • To complement and work with other environmental professionals and other organisations, including Governments, businesses and wider society in the identification, promotion, and preparation of environmental best practice that will protect the broad spectrum of natural capital for all, through a joined up approach to environmental management.


  • To promote an integrated approach to environmental management to reflect that complex natural systems need to be managed in a balanced way that will maximise the multiple benefits that can be attained through good planning and design and the correct use of scientific knowledge and best practice (e.g. the Ecosystem Services Approach, Catchment Based Approach, aspirations of the Water Framework Directive, SuDs, Green Infrastructure). 


  • To provide a strong link to education at all levels in the UK, EU and globally, to promote the recognition and value of Natural Capital and environmental best practice, helping current and future generations to implement these measures as the norm.



Steering Group 

The NCN will be deliverable focused (e.g. policy statements, best practice guidance, summaries of latest trends, policy, legislation and research, webinars, seminars, conferences, think tanks, web resources) and will make sure this material is produced so that it is accessible to a broad domestic and international audience. 

A Steering Group co-ordinates the work of the NCN.  The 'live' objectives and actions/deliverables of the Steering Group and NCN will be defined at the start of an annual term and delivered to a set timetable with all members actively participating.  The Steering Group will meet three times a year to carry out agreed business to a pre-defined agenda, giving the chance to approve key decisions, provide the opportunity for group discussion, plan the next term of work and react to emerging issues.

Click on the names below for steering group profiles.

Nikki Wood

Nikki Wood is an environmental professional with a specialism in aquatic ecosystems. She has over 20 years experience working on the implementation of environmental laws and policies, on assessing the impacts of major infrastructure and redevelopment proposals, and engaging stakeholders through participatory processes in strategic and project-related decision-making. Nikki is the founding Director of Engain which provides strategic environmental advice both in the UK and to governments overseas. Her particular specialism is in the application of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and environmental risk management.


Richard Arnold

Richard Arnold is Technical Director for Thomson Ecology. He is a highly experienced professional ecologist with an in-depth understanding of wildlife legislation and planning policy. His work has included biodiversity strategy and policy development, ecology training and ecological impact assessments for major infrastructure projects. He now provides clients with high level technical advice in relation to biodiversity and oversees Thomson Ecology's large team of ecologists.


Mark Everard

Dr Mark Everard has worked in a wide range of roles in international development, academia, the private sector, NGOs and the pubic sector (the Environment Agency and supporting Defra and the Welsh Government) specialising in systems thinking and sustainable development and their application into policy and practice.  Many of Mark's ten published books, nearly sixty scientific papers and hundred of technical articles relate to ecosystem services.  He is also a regular contributor to TV and radio.


Alan Feest

Alan Feest is a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol.  Dr Feest's special research topic is currently the measurement of biodiversity although in the past he has been a pioneer in microbial ecology studies. He is a member of the IPCC, advisor to the EU on Biodiversity, professional ecologist, research reviewer for four national governments, on the editorial board of three journals and a non-executive director of an environmental consultancy.


David Haley

Ecological artist, David Haley, believes our ability to survive Climate Change is the enactment of a complex evolutionary narrative. As the dance of creation and destruction, also, demand new opportunities and meanings for the other side of collapse, his inquiries into the nature of water, whole systems ecology and integral critical futures thinking inform his arts practice, academic research, education and community developments.  As Senior Research Fellow in MIRIAD at Manchester Metropolitan University, Haley is Director of the Ecology In Practice research group, and leads the award winning MA Art As Environment programme.


Simon Howarth

Simon Howarth is a Technical Director at Mott MacDonald who lives and works in Cambridge UK. He has worked for many years on a range of water resources projects in South and East Asia, notably in Nepal and China where he has been resident for long periods. He has a strong interest in community participation in water resources management, in developing effective relationships between communities and government, and in the role of these in protecting livelihoods and reducing local conflict.


Bruce Lascelles

Dr Bruce Lascelles is an experienced soil and environmental scientist and Business Director for Ecology at Hyder Consulting Ltd.  He has over 20 years research and consultancy experience, specialising in soil and hydrological assessments in relation to both habitats and agricultural land.  He has developed significant expertise in habitat creation, restoration and translocation and in the design of appropriate soil handling methodologies. He also has an interest in river geomorphology and has recently worked on projects developing long-term restoration visions for river SSSIs. Bruce is currently Chair of the Institute of Professional Soil Scientists and on the Board of Trustees for the British Society of Soil Science.


Dr. Richard Pagett

Richard has a BSc and PhD in the natural sciences, with an emphasis on the marine and coastal environment.  His work has encompassed a wide range of ecosystems including wetlands, fjords, mangroves, lagoons, coral reefs, and down to the abyssal plains (including some deep ocean work in the Bermuda Triangle).  He has worked in more than 100 countries, from the Arctic to the tropics, as an advisor on sustainability issues and, more recently, on climate change having first published on this in 1990.


Tim Pickering

Tim Pickering is a technical specialist with the Environment Agency. He is based in the Midlands and has worked for the Agency and its predecessors for over 20 years. Originally trained as an aquatic ecologist he has developed his professional interests to include river restoration and the use of environmental partnership in the delivery of strategic environmental planning.




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Chartered Institution of Water and
Environmental Management (CIWEM)

106-109 Saffron Hill, London, EC1N 8QS  
Tel: 020 7831 3110   Fax: 020 7405 4967