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Evening Event Barbecue

Understanding the cultural significance of UK ecosystems.

Over 80 people from the environmental policy and practice community have gathered at the University of Exeter for a two day conference exploring the cultural significance of UK ecosystems.

The conference, which was chaired by Dr Robert Fish and Professor Michael Winter of the University’s Centre for Rural Policy Research, drew together social and natural scientists with Defra, Natural England, environmental businesses and charities.  Speaking of the event Dr Fish said, “Ecosystems are replete with cultural meanings and values.  The event was an attempt to understand better how natural resource managers might recognise and protect this wider significance in their work”.

The conference discussed a range of topics, including the spiritual, recreational and creative importance of the marine and terrestrial environment for communities across the UK. It also included a workshop exploring the monitoring and data gathering frameworks that would necessary to incorporate these issues into policy development and decision making processes. Dr Fish added, “Participants provided a diversity of insights into the cultural significance of our natural environment. While we remain a long way from having the kind of tools and techniques decision makers need to monitor and manage this aspect of the UK environment asset base, the event was important step in the right direction”.

 The event was sponsored by Defra’s Ecosystems Knowledge Network and the University’s ESRC Centre for Sport Leisure and Tourism Research


10 July 2013


Date: 10 July 2013