CCF Summer Symposium 2014

Symposium Proceedings

Click on links to see slides of the presentations.  Brief biographies of the presenters and abstract of presentations included below.

NB Feedback on the outcomes of the interactive session and on the panel discussion will be added later.

Ø  Ecological restoration - why, what and how? John Hopkins, Exeter University

Biography: John worked for more than 30 years in the statutory conservation sector in a range of advisory roles, retiring from Natural England in 2012. He is now and Honorary Fellow in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Exeter

Abstract: The term ecological restoration potentially encompasses a very wide range of activities and is illusive, and perhaps not very useful, to define. In this talk I will discuss:  i) the motivations which underpin ecological restoration (i.e. why), ii) end points which are sought (i.e. what), and iii) choice of practical actions (i.e. how).


Ø  Climate change habitat adaptation and ecosystem restorationMike Morecroft, Natural England & Olly Watts, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Biographies: Mike has been Principal Specialist in climate change at Natural England since 2009.  Before that he led a research group at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) at Wallingford, having worked for CEH and its predecessor, the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, since 1992. He is also a Senior Visiting Research Associate at Oxford University.  Olly is Senior Climate Policy Officer at the RSPB and before that was a Peatland Policy Officer

Abstract: The evidence for climate change impacts on ecosystems is strong and adaptation is becoming an increasingly important element of conservation.  Restoring ecosystems can also play a part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  For some time high level principles to guide climate change adaptation have been recognised within the conservation community and supported by policy, but the implementation of practical adaptation on the ground has been patchy.  Natural England and the RSPB have been working to develop tools and resources to enable conservation practitioners to take a science based approach to adaptation.  We will present the new Climate Change Adaptation Manual which will just have been published when the Symposium takes place; it is a landmark publication that makes the latest specialist knowledge available to conservation managers and advisors.  We will also present a simple toolkit that the RSPB has developed to provide a framework for considering climate change impacts and adaptation, through an 8 step process which is being used by all Futurescape landscape scale projects.


Ø  REDD+ and forest restoration in Paraguay. Judith Walcott, UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Biography:  Judith is Programme Officer for Climate Change and Biodiversity at UNEP-WCMC. Before joining the Centre, Judith completed her PhD in Geography at the University of Cambridge. Her dissertation focused on development interventions in Ecuador's northern Andean border region.

Abstract: Paraguay has experienced significant changes in its forest cover over the last several decades, mainly due to land-use change; only 13% of Paraguay's original forest now remains - mostly in a highly fragmented and degraded state (WWF 2014). Restoration of forest landscapes is an issue of national interest and importance in Paraguay, both for environmental and economic ends, and as an objective within Paraguay's REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, plus conservation, the sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) programme.  This presentation will discuss the national context of REDD+ in Paraguay, as well the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre's (UNEP-WCMC) work in developing a map of potential opportunities for forest restoration in Paraguay.


Ø  ‘Natural Cambridgeshire’ – an update.  Philip Clark, Natural Cambridgeshire Coordinator 

Biography: As well as being the Coordinator for Natural Cambridgeshire, Phil is also Community Greenspaces Manager for Cambridgeshire County Council and, before that since 2000, he was Greenspaces Team Leader.

Abstract: Natural Cambridgeshire is the Local Nature Partnership for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough and was established in 2012 as part of the Coalition Governments Natural Environment White Paper, and their desire to set up a network of local groups that could help deliver their vision for the natural environment over the next 50 years.  LNP's were established to strengthen local action and be a diverse partnership of groups that could represent the many benefits of having a high quality natural environment. How are things shaping up, 2 years in?


Ø  Introduction to Interactive Session ‘Developing a robust ecological restoration strategy’  Helen Doran, Natural England 

Biography: Helen is Senior Specialist – Futures in the Research and Innovation Unit of the Conservation Strategy and Innovation Team at Natural England.  Helen has held several other posts in the government agencies including Sustainability Advisor in English Nature’s Environmental Impacts Team


Ø  A new tool to support ecosystem restoration: the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems. Rebecca Miller, IUCN 

Biography: Rebecca is Senior Programme Officer in the IUCN Ecosystem Management Programme. She worked previously for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Red List Unit, and before that served as Research Associate and Programme Development Officer for the IUCN SSC National Red List Working Group.

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems (RLE), a recently developed tool for assessing the risk of ecosystem collapse, including an overview of the tool and presentation of results from application around the world to date. Select case studies will inform a discussion of how RLE data can be used to help prioritise and inform investments in ecosystem management and restoration. It will conclude by outlining current challenges and an agenda for future development.


Ø  Restoring native forest in Sri Lanka at a former Eucalyptus plantation. 

Tim Reed, Tim Reed Ecological Consultants Ltd 

Biography: Tim Reed is a Director of Tim Reed Ecological Consultants Ltd, and works with a range of groups- including FFI. He was formerly with JNCC where he coordinated UK Common Standards Monitoring and Site Planning Standards, and was also NCC’s Head of Ornithology.

Abstract: Cleared in the late 1980s, tracts of forest were planted with Eucalyptus as a sustainable fuel source. When this was replaced with rice husk the plantations became redundant. The talk looks at the process of restoring natural forest on the sites, and the challenges involved.


Ø  Restoring Dersingham Bog NNR – finding a way through (what’s left of) the mire. Ash Murray, Natural England

Biography: Ash is a Senior Reserve Manager at Natural England

Abstract: Over the last 100 years, Dersingham Bog has been drained, burnt, stripped of peat and even used as a landfill site.  Despite this, it continues to be of international and national importance on account of its valley mire, dry heath and associated species.  This provides a brief account of Natural England’s ambitious restoration programme for the site and highlights some of the results so far.


Ø  Re-imagining the Fens – an RSPB Perspective.  Dave Rogers, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds 

Biography: Dave is Senior Site Manager at RSPB’s Lakenheath Fen reserve.  Before that he worked as a Senior Reserves Manager at Natural England and Conservation Officer at English Nature.

Abstract: Drawing on case studies of ecological restoration including Lakenheath, Ouse Fen and the Ouse and Nene Washes, Dave Rogers will describe the RSPB’s approach to giving nature a home in the Fens. The value of a toolkit approach to restoration, including research, advocacy, advice, partnerships, habitat creation/management and species re-introductions, will be explored.


Ø  The Great Fen – an update.  Kate Carver, Wildlife Trust BCN & Alan Bowley, Natural England

Biography:  Kate is the Great Fen Project Manager for the Wildlife Trusts and Alan Bowley is Senior Reserves Manager with Natural England and before that in a similar role for English Nature.

Abstract: The Great Fen is a 50-year project to create a huge wetland area of 3,700 hectares.  One of the largest restoration projects of its type in Europe, the landscape of the fens between Peterborough and Huntingdon is being transformed for the benefit both of wildlife and of people.  This talk will give an update on progress.




Photographs of Symposium here:

Whole programme of CCF Summer Symposium attached below.

CCF is very grateful to the Cambridge Conservation Initiative for hosting this event,  and to the Cambridge Judge Business School for use of their facilities.