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July 2019 Newsletter
In this issue...

UKEOF conference: Save the date | New leaflet: Underpinning UK Natural Capital Approaches | UKEOF at the NCI conference | Drones workshop | News from the Citizen Science Working Group | New chairperson for the DAG | Who is monitoring what, where? The UKEOF Catalogue | Resources & Outputs
Montage of photos related to the environmentDear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to our latest newsletter. UKEOF is the coordinating body across the public sector for the UK's environmental observation community. As such it plays a vital role in improving the coordination of the UK's observational evidence needed to understand and manage the changing natural environment.

In this issue we bring you a round-up of news from UKEOF as well as a heads-up about our forthcoming conference in November.

If you wish to share this newsletter with others, please either use the 'Forward' link at the end or direct them to the newsletter online archive. They can subscribe here.

Save the date: UKEOF conference

Save the date: 13 Nov 2019We are pleased to announce that we are planning a conference on the theme of “Environmental Monitoring: meeting evidence needs” to promote the activities of UKEOF. Look out for further details soon via our website, newsletter and Twitter and if you are interested, please mark the date in your calendar. The conference is likely to include a mix of talks, workshop-style discussions and posters.
We will consider how environmental monitoring and observation is contributing to our understanding of environmental change across the UK, how such changes affect people and the economy, and whether there are areas where more should be done to gather, interpret and communicate the necessary data.

Details (subject to change):
  • Date: 13 November 2019
  • Venue: Friends House, Manchester
  • Max. delegates: 200
  • Cost: approx. £35.

New UKEOF leaflet: Underpinning UK Natural Capital Approaches

UKEOF Natural Capital leafletA new leaflet, produced in 2019 by the UKEOF community (UKEOF Natural Capital Working Group), aims to share knowledge and best practice for incorporating existing environmental monitoring into a natural capital management approach. It provides a general introduction to natural capital, an overview of current work on assessing natural capital assets across the UK and, using three case studies, shows how current monitoring schemes have been adapted for use in natural capital assessment.
View or download leaflet...

UKEOF at the Natural Capital Initiative conference

Delegates at the UKEOF workshop. Photo by Matt Harwood, Royal Society of BiologyMembers of UKEOF's Natural capital working group (NCWG) attended the Valuing our Life Support Systems Natural Capital Initiative conference at the Crystal in London in May, where they hosted a session on ‘Advancing and Integrating methods for natural capital monitoring and assessment in the UK’.
About the NCWG workshop...
About the UKEOF Natural Capital Working Group...

[Photo: Matt Harwood, Royal Society of Biology]

Drones workshop

Drone in flight. Photo by Annie Spratt on UnsplashUKEOF and the Five Agencies ShARE programme organised a 2-day workshop on drones, hosted by Natural Resources Wales at Glyndwr University at the end of January 2019. Forty four delegates from seven regulatory agencies (EA, SEPA, NIEA, NRW, Irish EPA, NE, Portuguese Environment Ministry), 16 universities, Welsh Government, IMPEL (the EU regulatory network) and drone contractors spent the time sharing their knowledge and identifying common obstacles in using drones for environmental monitoring and enforcement. Most workshop presentations are now available.
Together, the delegates discussed successes, innovations, challenges and future plans in using drones. These covered topics as diverse as waste crime identification and surveillance, salt-marsh and seagrass surveys, landslide and volcano mapping, seabird counting, river flow measurement, archaeological modelling, sensor development and data integration.
This workshop represented the start of a collaborative network that will focus on the adoption of drones in environmental monitoring and enforcement.
Outputs being prepared from the workshop include:
  • Webinars on upcoming changes to drone legislation and legal guidance for environmental drone-users
  • An online network to facilitate ongoing dialogue within this community of drone users
  • A combined approach to the Civil Aviation Authority to explore a standing exemption on visual-line-of-sight (VLOS) restrictions for public bodies executing statutory monitoring duties with drones.
For more information, contact Nic Malone (ShARE secretariat team)

[Photo: Annie Spratt on Unsplash]

News from Citizen Science Working Group

Person recording in a meadow. Photo by Jacky Chaplow. © NERC – Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. All rights reservedThe Citizen Science Working Group (CSWG) is a long-standing group of the UKEOF to explore the role of citizen science, especially from a government agency perspective. Citizen science in the public sector can help to meet the needs for long-term, cost-efficient data collection, with added benefits of engaging the public with their environment. This raises many different opportunities, challenges and perspectives – and can even change the way that organisations approach particular questions, such as around data needs and engagement.

Exploring some of this future potential for citizen science was the theme of a recent CSWG workshop, with a publication due to be published soon summarising our thoughts and discussions. One of the biggest challenges was defining what was in and what was out of the discussion – we are probably stuck with the term ‘citizen science’ for this type of activity (and it is receiving greater recognition in public and policy), but it does have its limitations when we have discussions about its future.

Considering the question of data, good planning for the management of data is really important. This issue is not unique to citizen science, but citizen science brings in some particular aspects that are vital to consider. With this in mind, we have another publication in the final stages of production about Data Management for Citizen Science. This is a practical, accessible guide that should be useful to anyone involved with collection, curation or use of citizen science data.
About our the UKEOF Citizen Science Working Group...

[Photo © Natural Resources Wales]

New chairperson for Data Advisory Group

Data cables. Photo by Jordan Harrison on UnsplashThe Data Advisory Group (DAG) is a long standing working group of UKEOF; established in 2008.  It is a collaborative forum set up to increase awareness of environmental observations and to bring organisations together to discuss data sharing initiatives.  A recognised strength of DAG is this unique networking and knowledge exchange amongst data experts. We are indebted to Mike Brown (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) who, after successfully chairing this group with great enthusiasm for over five years, is now standing down due to other commitments. Barnaby Letheren; a data management specialist advisor from Natural Resources Wales has volunteered to take on this role of chair. Barnaby has already begun to work with the secretariat to develop plans to strengthen member engagement and to update the work plan. Members have been consulted regarding the optimal way of working and they agreed that this will be based upon a core of quarterly face-to-face working meetings.  At our next meeting (Sept/Oct), Barnaby would like members to be involved in the prioritisation of the work plan activities.
About our the UKEOF Data Advisory Group...

[Photo: Jordan Harrison on Unsplash]

Who is monitoring what, where? The UKEOF Catalogue has the answers

Scientist sampling lake water. Photo © NERC – Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. All rights reservedThe UKEOF Catalogue provides access to information about environmental observations, offering a unique UK overview. It contains over 2000 metadata records of environmental observations undertaken and funded by public and third sector organisations, and provides a unique management tool to underpin the activities and requirements of the environmental observation community. The Catalogue records information on four monitoring components: activities, facilities, networks and programmes. You can use the Catalogue to:
  • Discover who is doing what, where, why and when
  • Make contact with observation managers
  • Find out where the data is held and if it is available for reuse.
If you undertake environmental monitoring of any kind and you would like to add your activity, facility, network or programme to the Catalogue, please email us ( We also encourage anyone with information already in the Catalogue to review and update it as required.
About our the UKEOF Catalogue...

[Photo: © NERC – Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. All rights reserved]

UKEOF resources and outputs

Resources - image of the menu for the UKEOF website, resources sectionYou can find a wide range of resources and outputs on our website, including:
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Maximising the value of the UK's environmental observations

Copyright © 2019 UK Environmental Observation Framework, All rights reserved.

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