As a member of the Natural Environment Sector Partnership (NESP), Suntrap Forest Centre has been approached by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS are in the process of collating data on Outdoor Education visits to natural environment sites for their work on Natural Capital.
They’re looking to collate historical as well as current and future figures. They’ve asked us to make local schools aware and for us to encourage schools to contribute to this important research. Our country’s Natural Capital is comprised by all the ecosystem services which UK natural assets provide. Natural assets include soil, air, water and all living things. Accounting for natural capital is important as many of the most valuable services it provides are intangible so they’re often overlooked. Therefore, prior to creating natural capital accounts, decisions can frequently be made without best representing the environment.
However with the relevant facts, appropriate solutions can be agreed upon.
Previous research has shown that the cooling shade of trees and water saved the UK £248 million by maintaining productivity and lowering air conditioning costs on hot days in 2017. Also, their models suggest 1,238 years of life were saved through vegetation removing air pollution in 2017. These are great reasons to look after and maintain our forest and green spaces!
If you’d like your school to take part please supply your data to Isabelle via Isabelle.Vickers@ons.gov.uk and to read more about this research visit https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/environmentalaccounts/bulletins/uknaturalcapitalaccounts/2019 .