Participatory processes are being heralded as an innovative way to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of policy processes and outcomes. As such they are seen as a mechanism to increase the legitimacy and effectiveness of public institutions to represent and act in the public interest. As a Government-funded agency with responsibility to deliver England's international requirements for biodiversity conservation, English Nature are increasingly aware that to meet their objectives they need to engage stakeholders more closely in the development and delivery of policy.