The ecosystem services framework has now been embodied in policy and practice, creating the need for governance structures that allow science, policy and practice to come together and facilitate shared learning. We describe five years of progress in developing an Ecosystem Services Community of Practice in Scotland, which brings together over 600 individuals from diverse constituencies to share experiences and learn from each other. We consider the ‘community’ and ‘practice’ aspects to demonstrate the benefits of establishing an Ecosystem Services Community (ESCom). We also demonstrate how the journey involved in the creation and continuing evolution of ESCom has proved valuable to researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and students and as such has contributed to social learning. We reflect on challenges, given the voluntary nature, absence of formal institutional support and emergence of initiatives focusing on overlapping topics. Based on our experience, we provide ten recommendations to help future ecosystem services communities of practice.