Natural Capital (Working Group)

  • NCWG Chair: Tom McKenna (NatureScot)
  • Secretariat Lead: Lisa Norton
  • Secretariat Support: Jo Savage

Natural capital assets are those aspects of the natural environment that underpin delivery of ecosystem services or benefits (see figure). In relation to natural capital metrics, UKEOF aims to identify relevant environmental observation priorities and gaps. Maintaining a healthy stock of natural capital assets is a key government objective and meeting that objective requires an effective monitoring strategy.

Natural Capital - 3 categories of metrics


Although the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) suggests that for many assets we have good data about their quantity and distribution, little has been done to-date at a strategic level to optimise environmental observation for the purpose of natural capital assessment.

To address this, the UKEOF Natural Capital Working Group (NCWG) is coordinating activities to bring the relevant organisations together in order to develop a monitoring strategy for natural capital. The UKEOF partners include most of the statutory delivery and operational players who together collect and hold much of the essential data.


The objectives of the Natural Capital Working Group are:

  1. Inform partners about the latest developments on quantifying Natural Capital at UK and international level
  2. Analyse the partners’ strategies to pinpoint which partners have most relevance and responsibility, and identify which are already leading. This is achieved through maintenance of a partners’ natural capital activity table
  3. Identify existing monitoring which can contribute to Natural Capital Assessment
  4. Update the UKEOF catalogue for key relevant datasets e.g. by broad habitat
  5. Identify areas where the observations are weakest for metrics, and where work to improve them is already underway (to avoid duplication)
  6. Consider and compare approaches across the UK in order to understand different approaches, and enable coordination where diverging approaches are adopted.  This would focus on practicalities of monitoring and/or high level strategies
  7. Summarise the outcomes and propose ways forward.


Habitat Condition Indicators advice note cover


Habitat Condition Indicators Advice Note - This advice note considers why quality/condition indicators are important for monitoring natural capital. It is aimed at government agencies as well as organisations and businesses who are looking to apply the natural capital approach.




Underpinning UK Natural Capital Approaches


Underpinning UK Natural Capital Approaches - This leaflet, produced in 2019 by the UKEOF community (UKEOF Natural Capital Working Group), aims to share knowledge and best practice for incorporating existing environmental monitoring into a natural capital management approach. It provides a general introduction to natural capital, an overview of current work on assessing natural capital assets across the UK and, using three case studies, shows how current monitoring schemes have been adapted for use in natural capital assessment.

Complete reference list for Underpinning UK Natural Capital Approaches leaflet




    Report from UKEOF natural capital workshop, Environmental Observation to Support Natural Capital Assessment (April 2017)



  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Debbie Boobyer, Julian Harlow)
  • Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. Northern Ireland (Ted Barker, Ken Bradley & Richard Crowe, Stephen Emerson)
  • Environment Agency (Jennifer Taylor, Vicky Beaumont-Brown* & Ruth Jones*)
  • Forestry Commission (Ben Ditchburn)
  • James Hutton Institute (David Donnelly)
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (James Hutchison, Paul Robinson, Matt Smith)
  • Met Office (Debbie Hemming)
  • Natural England (Jane Lusardi)
  • Natural Resources Wales (Russell Elliott)
  • Office for National Statistics (Glen Everett & Adam Dutton)
  • Ordnance Survey (Kitty Rose)
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Nicola Melville*)
  • Scottish Government (Kirsten Hinds & Sandra Marks*)
  • NatureScot - formerly Scottish Natural Heritage (Tom McKenna & Ed Mackey*)
  • UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (Lindsay Maskell)
  • UKEOF (Lisa Norton, Don Monteith, Jo Savage)
  • Welsh Government (James Skates)
  • Woodland Trust (Christine Reid)

*Corresponding member