Event reports

We hold a wide range of events bringing together ecologists and policymakers, from large-scale conferences to panel debates and focused workshops.

People, Politics and the Planet 2015
People, Politics and the Planet 2015 Jason Reeves

Scottish Policy Group Training Workshop

Presentations from the 'Understanding the science-policy interface in Scotland' training workshop

November 2016

(6 MB pdf)

Our workshop on ‘Understanding the science-policy interface in Scotland’ included presentations from:

  • Tom Edwards, Scottish Wildlife Trust
  • Sarah Boyack, former MSP and Minister
  • Debbie Bassett, Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Rea Cris, RSPB

Read Rick Parfett’s blog post from the workshop

Download Scottish Policy Group Training Workshop pdf

The Place of people in rewilding

Scottish Policy Group "Pie and a Pint" event report

October 2016

(358 KB pdf)

This report summarises the discussion held at the BES Scottish Policy Group Pie and a Pint, on the 26th October 2016 in Inverness.

The event was open to all BES-SPG members and policy relevant people. About 40 people attended from wide range of organisations.
The event was opened by three short 10 minute talks from the following people presenting their own perspectives on rewilding:

  • Adam Smith of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust,
  • Rob Brooker read a statement from Fenning Welstead from Alladale Estate as Fenning was unable to attend due illness
  • David Balharry of Rewilding Britain

The group then split into four, with each group taking it in turns to address the four questions. The report summaries the key messages from each of the four groups.

Download The Place of people in rewilding pdf

Protected areas and beyond

A write up from the Scottish Policy Group's Pie and a Pint event looking at the future of protected areas in Scotland

April 2016

(395 KB pdf)

On 20th April 2016 the British Ecological Society’s Scottish Policy Group ran a ‘Pie and a Pint’ (PAAP) event on the topic “Beyond Protected Areas”. The document presented here is a note of the main themes and points raised during the evening’s PAAP discussion; it is not a minute of the meeting but hopefully accurately captures the balance of ideas and opinions presented.

The event started with introductory thoughts from four speakers:

  • Adam Smith – Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Director in Scotland
  • Davy McCracken – SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) Professor of Agricultural Ecology
  • Andrew Bauer – National Farmers Union Scotland, Deputy director for policy
  • Lloyd Austin – Head of Conservation Policy for the RSPB in Scotland.

Following on from the presentations, the attendees split into four groups; the four speakers rotated between the groups every 10 minutes. The discussion from each group is written up in the report note.

Download Protected areas and beyond pdf

Making a difference in conservation: Improving the links between ecological research, policy and practice

A joint British Ecological Society and Cambridge Conservation Initiative Symposium

April 2016

(199 KB pdf)

This symposium brought together the ecological research community and those involved in policy and government, to assess the value and applicability of a range of techniques for improving the decision making process. By working together, we aimed to enable delegates to get greater impact from their research, and to improve policies and practice.

Symposium report by Clive Mitchell (Scottish Natural Heritage) and Juliette Young (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)

Download Making a difference in conservation: Improving the links between ecological research, policy and practice pdf
Presentations from Making a Difference in Conservation


The BES GM debate

Public debate held at the Royal Society of Edinburgh as part of the 2015 BES Annual Meeting

December 2015

(64 KB pdf)

At our 2015 Annual Meeting, we held a public debate on GM crops, with speakers Pete Ritchie (Nourish Scotland), Helen Sang (Roslin Insitute), Joyce Tait (Innogen Institute), Rob Livesey (NFU Scotland) and Heather Ferguson (University of Glasgow). Chaired by Alan Gray (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology).

Report by Amy Fensome, Policy Intern

Download The BES GM debate pdf

Do ecosystem approaches deliver for biodiversity conservation?

A joint workshop of the BES Scottish Policy Group, External Affairs Team and the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy’s Science and Technical Group.

December 2015

(175 KB pdf)

Our workshop at the 2016 Annual Meeting explored the tensions between biodiversity conservation and a focus on ecosystem services, in the context of Scotland’s 2020 Challenge for Biodiversity.

Workshop report by Rob Brooker (James Hutton Institute, Secretary, BES Scottish Policy Group)

Download Do ecosystem approaches deliver for biodiversity conservation? pdf

People, Politics and the Planet: Any Questions

Our pre-election political debate, chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby

March 2015

(109 KB pdf)

Hosted by The Sibthorp Trust, The British Ecological Society and the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

People, Politics and the Planet: Any Questions brought together a panel of leading politicians to debate their environmental policies ahead of the 2015 UK general election, chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby.

The panellists were:

  • Lord de Mauley TD (Conservatives, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Natural Environment and Science)
  • Barry Gardiner MP (Labour, MP for Brent North and Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment)
  • Baroness Parminter (Liberal Democrats, Environment Spokesperson)
  • Natalie Bennett (Green, Party Leader and Parliamentary Candidate for Holborn and St. Pancras)
  • Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP (Scottish National Party, MP for Banff and Buchan)
  • William Cash (UK Independence Party, Heritage and Tourism Spokesperson)

Event report by Ben Connor, Policy Manager

Book now for People, Politics and the Planet 2016

Download People, Politics and the Planet: Any Questions pdf
People, Politics and the Planet: Any Questions


Valuing our life support systems

The second Natural Capital Initiative Summit

November 2014

(6 MB pdf)

The second Natural Capital Initiative summit aimed to:

  1. Derive a common understanding of what natural capital really means
  2. Understand in plain language the natural and social science behind it
  3. Find and demonstrate ways in which sectors and initiatives can work, and are working, together to apply it
  4. Identify ways of ensuring that practical responses have scientific rigour
  5. Communicate recommendations for ways forward across the sectors.

All presentations and videos from the summit are available on the Natural Capital Initiative website

Summit report by the Natural Capital Initiative

Download Valuing our life support systems pdf
Valuing our Life Support Systems 2014

Scottish Biodiversity Science conference

A joint conference of the Scottish Policy Group, CIEEM and the Science and Technical Group of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy

October 2014

(125 KB pdf)

The second Scottish Biodiversity Science conference focused on the theme of Monitoring in action.

All presentations from the conference can be downloaded from the Biodiversity Scotland website.

Download Scottish Biodiversity Science conference pdf

Scottish Policy Group horizon scanning meeting

Members of the BES Scottish Policy Group, staff from the Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage, convened to discuss emerging issues with implications for both research and policy.

June 2014

(363 KB pdf)

The Scottish Policy Group horizon-scanning workshop brought together policy colleagues and members to informally discuss research and policy gaps in selected topic areas.

Download Scottish Policy Group horizon scanning meeting pdf