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Embedding the natural capital approach in planning and development. A unique online training course designed for anyone working in the planning and built development sectors. Delivered over two mornings: 25 and 27 January. 

Book by 24th December 2021 and receive a £50 discount off the fee of £245. RTPI and TCPA members receive a further discount on this.

There is growing evidence of the economic and social value of the multiple benefits delivered by the natural environment in urban and rural areas. This includes:

  • Knowledge of how access to natural outdoor spaces improves health and wellbeing.
  • The connections between environmental quality and local economic development.
  • The role of the natural environment in climate change adaptation and resilience.
  • Greenspace is also a vital dimension of ‘place-making’; providing a sense of identity, common purpose and belonging to residents and businesses.

Current understanding of the value of nature in society is embodied in the concepts of natural capital and ecosystem services. Alongside inclusion of these terms in planning policy, a so-called ‘natural capital approach’ is now advocated by Government and the private sector. This one-day course takes participants to the heart of what these concepts mean for professional practice in planning and development, covering the implications for planners and developers in their day-to-day work and the link with other terms such as green infrastructure, biodiversity net gain and environmental net gain.

This training course is designed for anyone working in planning and built development in the public, private and third sector. Ideal for policy planners, development management planners, planning officers, designers and masterplanners, landscape architects, developers, and all others with an interest in this sector.

Course content

  • Public policy background, recent changes and direction of travel (including biodiversity net gain and environmental net gain), links to the place-shaping agenda and sustainable development.
  • Natural capital in policy planning – integration into local policy, infrastructure and investment planning, delivery methods and approaches to guide spatial planning.
  • Creating a natural capital evidence base – an overview of assessment approaches, including an introduction to biodiversity and natural capital metrics, mapping, and accounting, existing tools and standards.
  • Natural capital in development management – using natural capital approaches to improve delivery and enhancement on site, measuring and delivering biodiversity and environmental net gain.

Learning objectives

 By the end of the course, trainees will have the understanding and skills to:

  • Make informed decisions about why and how to apply ecosystem services and natural capital approaches in their professional practice.
  • Advise colleagues, customers and clients on the incorporation of biodiversity net gain and environmental net gain into plans and development proposals, including the use of appropriate metrics.
  • Take action to form (or strengthen) the evidence base on natural capital and ecosystem services that serves their employer’s needs, and understand the different approaches available.
  • Inform discussions that improve site layouts and masterplans for the benefit of clients, customers and the public at large.
  • The course will include presentations, integrated with numerous case studies, interactive sessions and group discussions.

Continuing Professional Development

This course is designed to provide 6 hours of CPD credits. Certificates of course participation can be provided to trainees on request.


  • Dr Jim Rouquette is a Director and co-founder of Natural Capital Solutions, an environmental consultancy that helps organisations understand, assess and make strategic decisions about their natural capital assets. Jim is an expert in natural capital and ecosystem services assessment, including modelling, mapping and monetary valuation, biodiversity and natural capital net gain, natural capital accounting, opportunity mapping and stakeholder engagement. His work aims to operationalise the natural capital and ecosystem services approach, and he has worked extensively with the public, private and third sectors to develop assessment approaches and policy guidance for the planning and development sector.  
  • Andra Stopforth is a Principal Planning Policy Officer at the new North Northamptonshire Council. She has experience of working on protecting assets policies for the North Northamptonshire Core Strategy (Local Plan) for four authority areas. Andra is a Steering Group member for the Nene Valley Nature Improvement Area that involved key work streams around Planning, Access and Ecosystem Services. She initiated work on an Ecosystem Services approach to Tresham Garden Village and is leading on a Natural Capital SPD for North Northamptonshire. She is also responsible for various infrastructure-led documents for North Northamptonshire to ensure that they are delivering Garden Communities incorporating Place Shaping, Health and Well-Being and Natural Capital.



Start: 25 January 2022
End: 27 January 2022
Ecosystems Knowledge Network

Online event

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