Natural Capital

Natural capital is the stock of our natural assets and is comprised of ecosystems (a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment acting as a functional unit). The benefits that flow from this stock are often described as ecosystem services. Natural resources (such as food, timber and water) and functioning natural systems (such as healthy, fertile soils; clean water and air; and a regulated climate) are vital support services for our well-being and security, and are themselves sustained by biodiversity (NEWP, page 7).

Growth of natural capital and improving the provision of ecosystem services therefore form the basis of the two overriding objectives of the Sussex LNP.

Sussex Local Nature Partnership Objectives

Consistent with this vision, the LNP has set two high-level objectives to determine the nature and trajectory of the LNP’s activities. These are:

1. Conserve, enhance and expand Sussex’s Natural Capital.

Growth in Natural Capital is the fundamental pre-requisite for enhancing the services provided by ecosystems and so underpins the economic and social well-being of Sussex. The LNP will promote the greening of the economy including the need to invest in nature because of the many benefits and essential services it provides.

2. Ensure that Sussex residents share in the benefits provided by healthy, wellfunctioning ecosystems.

The LNP will aim to improve the connection between people, their environment and the benefits they get from the environment. This will cover a broad spectrum of activities including health, well-being, social and economic areas.

In order to deliver growth in natural capital and share in the benefits of healthy ecosystems, the LNP will ensure that the evidence is collated to promote concepts, projects and initiatives that support the positive development of ecosystem services in Sussex. This will be shared across all sectors and audiences.

Serious declines in natural capital have taken place across the UK including Sussex. The Sussex Biodiversity Action Plan was established to address this as were Biodiversity Opportunity Areas

Read more about The State of Nature and some of the Sussex initiatives to enhance Natural Capital by following the links below:


Links and resources:

The State of Nature

South Downs Way Ahead Nature Improvement Area

Arun & Rother Connections

The West Weald Landscape Project

Brighton Biosphere