Connecting the Dots Project

© Heather Davison-Smith

A project to explore how the natural capital approach might be implemented on the Yorkshire coast

Supported by the Championing Coastal Coordination (3Cs) fund and the North York Moors National Park Trust, this project had three core workstreams: a feasibility report, stakeholder engagement films, and a collaborative workshop with Marine Protected Area managers.

The outcomes of the project have supported our understanding of the natural capital approach and highlighted the challenges and opportunities associated with using this management tool in the marine environment.

The 3Cs funding was an Environment Agency initiative with support from Natural England, the Marine Management Organisation and the Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities. It sought to explore how to enhance and progress coordination for coastal sustainability and resilience in England.

A StoryMap has been produced to showcase our work on natural capital so far, click the link below to find out more or continue on this page to see the outcomes of the 3Cs project.

Read the StoryMap

Feasibility Report

Drawing information and expertise from local, regional and national partners, the report highlighted current understanding around the natural capital approach and the national guidance available.  It identified that there is still a lot of work to be done, and the topic is evolving all the time, but that clear communication and engagement would be the key to success.


Read the report
© Heather Davison-Smith

MPA Officer’s Network Workshop

The project supported the 2022 MPA Officer’s Network workshop – an annual meeting of officers, statutory agencies and supporting partners involved in marine protected area management from across the UK.  Over two days, 48 people attended the virtual discussions on a variety of topics ranging from recreational disturbance and site management to marine nature recovery and natural capital.

© Heather Davison-Smith


The services and benefits we receive from Yorkshire’s marine and coastal environment are integral to our society.  To move forward with a marine natural capital approach, we first need to raise awareness of this fact and build our understanding of how the tool could work.  The three films produced through this project highlight the importance of our marine ecosystems, explain what the natural capital approach is and, how it could be implemented.

Yorkshire’s Marine and Coastal Environment

Yorkshire’s marine and coastal environment is diverse and unique, stretching for nearly 100 miles it encompasses wide open beaches, rocky shores, dynamic cliffs and hidden coves.  We receive many products, services and benefits from our marine ecosystem, often without even realising.

The Natural Capital Approach

Natural capital is all around us. Understanding how to measure, monitor and enhance these natural processes in the marine environment is challenging but could lead to significant benefits for us and the environment.

How Can We Use the Natural Capital Approach?

By working together, we can identify opportunities to enhance and restore the natural processes we rely upon. Using the natural capital approach to measure our successes and highlight where more work could be done.

Find out more…