Outline & Speakers

This Joint meeting of the British Ecological Society and UK’s Statutory Nature Conservation agencies will bring together policy officials, practitioners, natural and social scientists from across the UK and internationally to set the direction for nature conservation in the UK #N4FG18

We are heading towards a different environment from anything humans have known or experienced. Climate change, consumption, population growth and competition for resources are all impacting heavily on the natural environment. We are also undergoing pivotal social and political change. In the UK, this is in part driven by EU Exit, but also by the changing needs and expectations of society and the economy. A wide range of factors are likely to be increasingly influential in the way we use and impact upon our environment: trade relationships, new technologies, natural capital-informed approaches, innovations in practice, involving people in decisions, inequalities and justice, devolved and evolving policy agendas, people’s evolving relationship with the natural world and our responses to environmental disasters and change. Where does nature conservation sit in relation to these changes? Who is nature conservation for and what should be our policy and delivery priorities? What role do we need and want the natural environment to play in the UK’s future?

This conference, organised by the UK’s Statutory Nature Conservation agencies (Joint Nature Conservation CommitteeNatural Resources WalesNatural EnglandScottish Natural HeritageDepartment of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland) and the British Ecological Society, will bring together policy officials, practitioners, natural and social scientists from across the UK and internationally to explore these questions and set the direction of travel for nature conservation in the UK.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Susan Davies (Scottish Wildlife Trust Director of Conservation)
  • Martin Harper (Executive Director for Global Conservation, RSPB)
  • Sophie Howe (Future Generations Commissioner for Wales)
  • Tony Juniper CBE (Executive Director of Advocacy & Campaigns, WWF-UK)
  • Professor Sir John Lawton CBE FRS (RSPB Vice President, President of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, President of The Institution of Environmental Sciences)
  • Louise Macdonald OBE (CEO of Young Scot, and Chair of the Scottish Government’s Advisory Council on Women and Girls)
  • Hazel Curtis (Chief Economist, Seafish)
  • Professor Chris Thomas FRS (University of York)
  • Baroness Barbara Young of Old Scone HonFRSE, House of Lords (Chair of the Woodland Trust, and Chancellor of Cranfield University)
  • Juliette Young (NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)
  • Henk van Zeijts (Project manager Nature Outlook 2016, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)
  • Colin Moffat (Chief Scientific Advisor Marine, Scottish Government)
  • Helena Craig (Black2Nature)
  • Thérèse Coffey MP (MP for Suffolk Coastal and DEFRA minister)
  • Dara McAnulty (Young Fermanagh Naturalist)
  • Professor Chris Gilligan CBE (Chair, Joint Nature Conservation Committee)

Outline Programme

The full programme is now available to download.

DAY 1 – Wednesday 23 May

12:30 – 13:30 – Registration with Tea/Coffee
13:30 – 14:50 – Session 1
14:50 – 15:20 – Coffee Break
15:30 – 17:40 – Session 2
17:40 – 18:45 – Policy & Practice Pitches
18:45 – 19:30 – Poster Session with Drinks
19:30 – late – Conference Buffet Dinner

DAY 2 – Thursday 24 May

08:00 – 09:00 – Registration
09:00 – 11:05 – Session 3
11:05 – 11:30 – Coffee
11:30 – 12:30 – Breakout Debate Sessions
12:30 – 13:00 – Speedy Speakers
13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch & Poster Session
14:00 – 15:30 – Session 4
15:30 – 16:00 – Thanks & Close


Registration is now open.


We have a limited number of exhibition tables at £400 which include one full symposium registration. Contact BES Development Manager Paul Bower, paul@britishecologicalsociety.org, for details.