The BESS programme has been involved in developing a variety of tools that support decision making and facilitate research and engagement. Visit the Ecosystems Knowledge Network for further information about a range of tools that link the environment and society.  

CBESS researchers have developed the Saltmarsh app to enable interested individuals and groups to  investigate the salt marshes which surround our coast. Once you download the free, mobile app, you can carry out an interactive plant and soil survey.  Every marsh survey uploaded will help researchers at School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University learn more about UK saltmarsh soils and how they are helping fight climate change.

Read more or download the app from here.

The Saltmarsh Carbon Stock Predictor is free tool for organisations and individuals interested in predicting and GIS mapping carbon stock in Welsh and English saltmarshes. All you need is simple information on vegetation type, or vegetation and soil type.  The user manual provides more information about the evidence underpinning the tool and the Saltmarsh App.  Detailed maps of predicted carbon storage in Welsh saltmarshes are also available from the team.   The development of the tool was informed by collaboration with Natural Resources Wales. 

Read more and request the tool here.

The Cool Farm Tool is an online greenhouse gas and biodiversity calculator for farmers. BESS research fellow Lynn Dicks created the biodiversity metric of the Cool Farm Toolwhich helps growers to make more informed decisions when supporting biodiversity and ecosystem services at a farm scale. The tool is free to growers, simple to use and evidence based. The Cool Farm Alliance includes a wide range of multinational food suppliers and manufacturers and this approach can be scaled up to their supply chains.

Find out more here

ESI-SIT is a web-based decision support tool for visualising how ecosystem services may change across the landscape in response to changes in landscape management. Two versions of ESI-SIT have been developed to date, one for the Humberhead Levels Nature Improvement Area, and one for the Tees Valley.  ESI-SIT has been developed by researchers at the University of York, UK, as part of a project funded by Defra, with additional support from the BESS programme.  

Find out more here


The Ecosystem Services Transfer Toolkit is a literature review of the effect of land
management actions on the provision of ecosystem services. The Toolkit is in the form of an Excel spreadsheet which can be searched and queried to find evidence of the effects of specific land management actions on ecosystem services provided by upland, freshwater, urban, lowland agriculture and coastal and marine habitats. It also assesses how transferable the effect of a land management action on ecosystem services may be, if done in a different place. The Managing Ecosystem Services Evidence Review fact sheets summarise the evidence for changes in ecosystem service provision from a land management action in a broad habitat type, for example, increasing trees and woodlands in urban areas.

The Ecosystem Services Transfer Toolkit and Managing Ecosystem Services Evidence Review have been co‐developed by the University of York and Natural England, with additional support from BESS.