Hampshire Avon landscape network

Natural England

3Keel has developed an approach to landscape innovation called Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs), which is designed to make practical links between commercial interests in a region and the landscapes that influence their ability to operate. The objectives of LENs are two-fold: it is intended to both create business value from healthy landscapes, and to help drive investment in healthy landscapes by mobilising their value to business.

The LENs process works through a systematic analysis of three interacting landscape variables: beneficiaries (businesses that have a practical interest in the landscape), functions (the practical outcomes of a landscape that beneficiaries are interested in), and assets (landscape features that underpin those functions). The LENs process was initiated for the Hampshire Avon catchment in early 2018, as part of a project funded by Natural England and requested by the Hampshire Avon Catchment Based Approach (CaBa) group.

An initial scoping into the landscape’s regional economy and identified key functions and assets for the Hampshire Avon. 3Keel then used this data to engage with business sectors, and specific beneficiary businesses on whom to conduct a systematic analysis of demand. Through structured conversations with these beneficiaries and further research into the landscape, this phase of the project identified three potential network cluster opportunities in the Hampshire Avon LENs around the assets of effluent capacity, soils, and terrestrial habitats.

The second phase of the project saw an initial network convened around effluent capacity, in particular in relation to background phosphate levels in the Hampshire Avon catchment.  Phosphate is having a significant impact on businesses’ operations, with a particular focus on the upper catchment north of Salisbury.  Perhaps the most commercially significant impact is on the ability of some to gain planning permission for significant commercial and residential developments. Other landscape functions, such as ‘liveability’, reliability of arable supply chains, and flood risk mitigation also figure in the network.  The project also identified the principal assets where investment and intervention might improve effluent capacity are likely to be: soils, watercourses and terrestrial wetland habitats.

This initial network, made up of a diverse set of businesses, is planning to collaborate by using the opportunities identified through the LENs analysis to determine where and how to target their investment into effluent capacity in the Hampshire Avon catchment.

Project lead

Tom Curtis