About national capability funding

National capability funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) enables UK scientists to deliver world-leading environmental science, meet national strategic needs, and help the Government respond to emergencies. The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) plays a leading role in managing and delivering this capability for the UK.

Our national capability work

CEH, with national capability funding from NERC, carries out environmental monitoring, experiments and modelling for the benefit of the scientific community, government, business and the general public.

Through our national capability work, we generate publicly available environmental datasets on issues ranging from investigating the causes of biodiversity loss to identifying the impacts of pollution, and from forecasting floods to safeguarding soils and carbon stocks.

We provide software and tools to support decision making in areas such as the sustainable intensification of agriculture, the sustainable management of freshwater resources, and environmental regulation.

We also help the UK Government respond to emergencies such as floods, provide a rapid response to requests from Government departments and agencies, and deliver scientific advice to Government departments on a range of policy issues.

National capability research programmes

CEH leads and contributes to national capability research programmes designed to help us to improve our quality of life and grow economies while living within the Earth’s limits.

Our national capability public good work

CEH delivers scientific advice to government departments to support the design and delivery of a range of policies, such as food and farming, flooding, water quality and supply, GHG emissions, climate change adaptation, and clean growth.

CEH scientists help government prevent and respond to emergencies such as floods and droughts by contributing to the Natural Hazards Partnership, developing risk assessments and mitigation strategies, providing briefings to COBRA and other national bodies, and delivering a rapid response to requests from Government departments and agencies.

CEH helps to meet the UK’s strategic needs, for example by supporting the UK Environmental Observation Framework, which seeks to optimise environmental monitoring. It also contributes to national and global initiatives to improve health and wellbeing through its work chairing and coordinating the UK Committee for National and International Hydrology, which provides expertise to UNESCO and the UN World Meteorological Office.

Finally, CEH also supplies scientific information to Government by answering Parliamentary questions, and by providing written and oral evidence to Select Committees and All-Party Groups.

Our publicly available data

We provide environmental datasets for the terrestrial and freshwater sciences research community covering a wide range of issues. Our unique, long-term, national-scale data underpin environmental research, resource management and policy development. Our policy is to make as many of these data as possible freely available under an Open Government Licence. Read more…