Images for Ecosystem Services

Images for Ecosystem Services (ES) are a visual aid to assist in the communication of different services that are provided across a landscape. The images were use during community conversations on the Hoo Peninsula as an easy way to communicate Ecosystem Services. There were 27 ES images developed by Medway Council and 9 ES images by VLM (see below and on the right for some examples).

The scale level and phase:


The target group: all types of stakeholders including mixed group of local residents, land owners and businesses.

The application in the planning process: A stylised symbol was developed for each ecosystem service as it was felt that a visual prompt for each landscape service would help stakeholders gain an immediate understanding of the difference between services. The name used for each ESS whilst scientifically accurate was unfriendly and unclear as to its meaning. This created a barrier which needed to be addressed if stakeholders were going to welcome further discussion on ecosystem services.

The Ecosytem Services symbols:

  • Raised awareness about GI producing ES
  • Created common understanding of needs for ecosystem services
  • Fostered understanding of existing functions with potential value to the area
  • Facilitated priority setting and choice of focal areas
  • Enhanced collective thinking about aims and strategies
  • Contributed to a shift of mind set

The tool was developed by Emergent Research Consulting on behalf of Martin Hall, Greening the Gateway Kent and Medway. The new contact is Andrew Kent, Medway Council.:

More information:

Download: all icons from Medway Council and all icons from VLM.

The icons below were made by VLM following the methodology developed by Medway Council. This work was done in the frame of the LIFE+ project Green4Grey ( ) which is a follow-up of the GIFT-T! project in Flanders.