Scottish Policy Group
Are you interested in informing the development of environment and science policy in Scotland?
What is the BES Scottish Policy Group?
The Scottish Policy Group (BES-SPG) is a group of BES members promoting the use of ecological knowledge in Scotland by highlighting how this knowledge can aid policymakers’ decision-making and supporting the involvement of ecologists in all levels of Scottish policymaking.
What Does the BES-SPG do?
We help ecologists get their message to policymakers, and help policymakers to understand ecological knowledge (and ecologists).
1. Supporting ecologist to understand and get involved in policy making, and support policy makers in understanding ecology.
We bring together ecologists and policymakers, provide training for Scottish ecologists to develop their policy skills and provide briefings to members about the latest policy news.
2. Promoting the use of ecological knowledge as part of a multidisciplinary approach to policy making.
We highlight the benefits of using robust ecological evidence to inform policy. We run a variety of events that encourage understanding between ecologists and policymakers, including horizon scanning sessions and our ever popular “Pie and a Pint” (PAAP) series of informal gatherings. We also organised, often in partnership with others, policy-focused research conferences and sessions.
Read the summary report from the “How to handle moving targets” PAAP
Read the summary report from the “Striking the right balance in offshore renewables: ecosystem effects, trade-offs and climate change” PAAP
Read the summary report from the “Does a Natural Capital approach deliver for biodiversity conservation?” PAAP
Read the summary report from the “What does biodiversity success in 2020 look like?” PAAP
Read the summary report from the Protected Areas and beyond PAAP
Read the summary report from the place of people in rewilding PAAP
Read the summary report from the Urban greenspace – space for nature and people? PAAP
3. Providing Robust Ecological Evidence.
We act as a focal point to provide robust ecological evidence to the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and wider society. We respond to requests for information, and aim to provide evidence about upcoming policy issues through proactive briefings.
Read the BES-SPG response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Forestry Strategy 2019-2029
Read the BES-SPG response to the Grouse Moor Management stakeholder questionnaire
Read the BES-SPG response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on Support for agriculture and the rural economy – post Brexit transition
Read the BES-SPG response to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s call for evidence on the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill.
What Does BES-SPG not do?
As an organisation we do not adopt policy positions or campaign on particular issues, but focus on increasing the use of ecological knowledge in policymaking. However that does not mean that our members don’t have their own views!
Why Should I Join BES-SPG?
Do you want to increase the impact of your own research, or help others increase theirs? Does your job require the latest and most robust ecological knowledge? If so, BES-SPG is for you!
By joining BES-SPG you will benefit from:
- Support to communicate your ecological research to the relevant policymakers
- Invitations to exclusive networking and policy engagement events
- Developing contacts at the science-policy interface
- Receiving dedicated briefings on the latest Scottish policy issues
- Exclusive training opportunities
- A forum to exchange ideas and develop novel applied research
BES-SPG is open to any BES member with an interest in informing Scottish policymaking, on any policymaker (with a .gov email address) with an interest in ecology. Sign up to join the group and receive the regular newsletter.
Download the BES SPG leaflet
The organising committee for the Scottish Policy Group are
- Chair: Ruth Mitchell, James Hutton Institute
- Vice-Chair: Isabel Jones, University of Stirling
- Policy Committee Representative: Jeanette Hall, Scottish Natural Heritage
- Early Career Representative: Chris Pollard, Forest Research
- Ordinary Member: Chris Ellis, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
- Ordinary Member: Hannah Grist, The Scottish Association for Marine Science
- Ordinary Member: Claire Lacey, University of St Andrews and Convenor of CIEEM (Scotland)
- Ordinary Member: Chloe Bellamy, Forest Research
- Ordinary Member: Jessica Hogan, University of St Andrews
Secretarial support provided by: Maggie Keegan, BES Policy Officer in Scotland
Like what we stand for?
Support our mission and help develop the next generation of ecologists by donating to the British Ecological Society.