North Devon Marine Pioneer (SWEEP 002/012)

In 2016, Defra initiated a number of nationwide ‘Pioneer’ projects, the aim of which is to provide a set of case studies, or exemplars, that can inform government environmental policy and practice in the years to come.

Four pioneer projects will take place, the locations of which have been carefully chosen to represent areas of significant environmental interest. The North Devon biosphere is the subject of both a land-based pioneer, and a co-located marine pioneer along with a section of East Anglia coastline.

An interdisciplinary project team jointly led by Professor Martin Attrill from Plymouth University’s Marine Institute, and Professor Mel Austen from Plymouth Marine Laboratory’s Sea and Society Group, is helping the wide range of partners involved to achieve their aims. By providing guidance, expertise and tools, the team plan to embed natural capital approaches into policy and decision-making.

Outputs of this work will:

  • embed natural capital approaches into marine policy
  • ensure that managers and decision-makers are able to take a strategic approach that safeguards ecosystem services and maximise the benefits they provide across multiple sectors (including fisheries, aquaculture, renewable energy and tourism)
  • showcase North Devon as a pioneer in natural capital approaches, fostering a sense of local pride and belonging.
Crucially, this work also provides a unique opportunity to link with the activities of the North Devon Landscape Pioneer.

The South West Partnership for Environmental and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) is a partnership project that will help deliver economic and community benefits to the South West, whilst protecting and enhancing the area’s natural resources.

Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) Regional Impact from Science of the Environment programme for five years, SWEEP will bring academic experts, businesses and policy makers together to solve some of the challenges involved in managing, utilising and improving the natural environment. 

SWEEP is currently delivering 13 Impact Projects, all of which are delivered collaboratively by inter-disciplinary teams from across the three key partners. Find out about those with which the University of Plymouth is most closely involved with.