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Payments for ecosystem services (PES) – PES pilot research projects (2014-2015) – Round 3 - NR0156

11 PES pilot projects were commissioned by Defra from 2011-2013 over two rounds of funding. The aim of these research projects was to provide important evidence and lessons learnt that will help in the future development of PES schemes in an England context and help inform Defra of the key challenges and barriers in this area. In doing so, these pilots help to fulfil a commitment in the Natural Environment White Paper to develop PES schemes.

A third competitive round of PES pilot studies was funded in 2014 with the aim of continuing the progress made in the first two rounds and developing our understanding of PES markets as set out in the White Paper and PES Action Plan. These successful pilot bids seek to test the PES concept in new contexts, including biomass energy, flood management, and urban and peri-urban settings. The following five pilot projects have been selected:

Winford Brook Catchment, South Bristol – developing catchment based approach to reduce flooding e.g. by reducing silt from erosion.

Holnicote Estate, Somerset – investigating PES approaches to natural flood management and other benefits, building on the three Defra Flood Management Demonstration projects.

Energy For Nature - biomass energy, Somerset levels – using surplus biomass from habitat management for renewable energy generation.

Irwell Catchment, Greater Manchester - identifying practical ways to deliver new investment in the natural environment in Greater Manchester.

Smithills Estate, Bolton - exploring the potential for payments for PES on Woodland Trust owned upland fringe estate
These pilots aim to demonstrate proof of concept and practical application in a range of contexts.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Defra PES Pilot - Winford Brook - Final Report November 2015 PDF   (3875k)
• FRP - Final Report : Energy for Nature RSPB FINAL Sept15   (1575k)
• FRP - Final Report : Holnicote PES Final Report September 2015   (844k)
• FRP - Final Report : Irwell Catchment PES Final Report   (1358k)
• FRP - Final Report : Woodland Trust - Smithills PES Final Report   (5549k)
• OTH - Other : APEM Winford Brook Walkover Survey FINAL ISSUE   (2500k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2014

To: 2015

Cost: £144,441
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Lancashire Wildlife Trust Ltd, The Woodland Trust, Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Penny Anderson Associates Ltd
Economic Research