Efficiencies in Observations (2011-2015)

UKEOF works to improve environmental observation activities through encouraging collaboration across UK organisations. Working together can help avoid duplication, develop more robust networks and improves knowledge and data accessibility.

Finding Opportunities to Collaborate over Monitoring Activities: Pilot Project

UKEOF led a pilot project to realise the benefits of working collaboratively over monitoring activities. 

Background

In 2011, UKEOF worked with Natural England to deliver a workshop on Developing a Long Term Monitoring Network. A workshop report was produced following this. Work was then carried out with Natural England to map geographic coincidences in environmental monitoring sites, where it became apparent that there were high levels of geographical coincidences in monitoring sites in England and Wales. 

The Hampshire Avon catchment was chosen as the site for the pilot project due to the number of monitoring coincidences found there in the Natural England analysis. 

Project aim

The aim of the project was to investigate the potential of integrating and aligning monitoring activity in a specific area by facilitating better coordination between relevant organisations, and to develop best practice guidelines that could be applied in other areas.

Project objectives

Three objectives were set for the project, all of which have now been met:

Objective 1: establish what monitoring activity is occurring in the Hampshire Avon catchment
Work was carried out over summer 2013 to research which organisations are monitoring in the catchment and to request information regarding these activities. 

Objective 2: host a workshop to provide the opportunity for collaborative working
A workshop was carried out in October 2013, attended by 15 organisations which carry out environmental monitoring in the Hampshire Avon catchment, to discuss potential collaborations over their monitoring activity.

Objective 3: produce a report and best practice guide to ensure impact of the work
Participants of the workshop were contacted six months after the workshop to determine whether any collaborative activities had been put into place. An impact report has been published, along with best-practice guidance for running similar projects.  

HA WorkshopNext Steps

The key findings and recommendations from this project were fed back to UKEOF partner organisations to discuss the potential next steps, which included further work to assess the potential benefits from joined up survey efforts at a national scale and the options for such delivery. 

Following consideration by the UKEOF Management Group (2015), the decision was made to close the project at this point as it was felt that there were unlikely to be savings identified by looking at the spatial overlap of monitoring sites. More details are provided in the project summary and closure report below.

Project Reports:

Interim Project Report
Impact Report
Final Report
Project Summary and Closure Report


Guidance Documents:

Guidance Report
Monitoring Questionnaire
Questionnaire Analysis Document
Potential types of Collaboration Document
Workshop feedback form 

Steering Group Members

Natural England                                                                                                                                            Environment Agency
Forestry Commission
Hampshire-Avon Demonstration Test Catchment
Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Natural Resources Wales
UK Environmental Observation Framework

Further Resources

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