The Environmental Change Network is a partnership of organisations working together to operate the network of monitoring sites, but the partnerships do not end there; ECN is part of a much larger 'network of networks' extending around the globe. Some elements of this wider network are outlined below.
Scientific research and data
Our approach is to use common monitoring protocols wherever possible, to facilitate the sharing of data
ECN contributes data to a number of UK-wide monitoring programmes, and some ECN sites are locations for monitoring coordinated by other networks. These other networks include:
- the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
- the Rothamsted Insect Survey
- the Upland Waters Monitoring Network
- Ammonia, Acid Gases and Aerosols, and Heavy Metals Monitoring Networks.
Our approach is to use common monitoring protocols wherever possible, to facilitate the sharing of data.
Many of our partners - particularly our research partners - maintain strong connections within the wider environmental research community. This includes links to universities and other research institutes, such as the Freshwater Biological Association. Although ECN focusses on terrestrial and freshwater habitats, we also maintain contacts with the Marine Environmental Change Network, coordinated by the Marine Biological Association.
Policy-making and management
ECN member organisations include policymakers at both national level and in the three UK countries: England, Scotland and Wales. We also have good links with the Northern Ireland administration through two Northern Irish partners. The statutory nature conservation authorities in England, Wales and Scotland are also represented, each of whom is representated in the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The JNCC has strong links with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, another ECN member.
Several ECN sites contribute to European networks
The principal European network in which ECN plays an active role, is LTER-Europe, a network of mainly national-level 'long-term ecosystem research' networks. ECN is the UK node in LTER-Europe and members of ECN are active in several LTER-Europe committees. LTER-Europe is the European regional network of ILTER, a global network (see below).
Several ECN sites also contribute to European networks including INTERACT and GLORIA (Cairngorms) and ICP Forests (Alice Holt). Individual ECN partner organisations are active in a wide range of European networks and projects (an extensive list of links can be found in Links).
The main global network in which we are actively involved is ILTER, the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network. ILTER - which turned 20 years old in 2013 - was chaired for several years by Dr Terry Parr (CEH), a former ECN coordinator. Several ECN partners are taking an active role in ILTER-led initiatives, including projects on ecosystem services assessment and communication and knowledge transfer.