The overall aim of this research was to estimate the socio-economic impacts to the Devon economy of reaching the targets of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for species-rich hedges, based on the assumption that this requires expenditure of £1 million per year within the county over the period 2000 to 2005. A secondary aim was to develop a methodology that can be used to estimate the socio-economic impacts on local economies of implementing further Biodiversity Action Plan targets. The objectives of the study were to identify: the employment and wages of hedge maintenance and restoration labour, and associated training staff; local purchases of goods and services relating to hedge management and restoration, as required to meet BAP targets; supply of goods and services to local communities (e.g. firewood, hurdles etc.); expenditure by visitors and tourists induced to visit Devon as a result of hedge BAP implementation; multiplier impacts associated with landowner, contractor, supplier and visitor expenditures. The research showed that implementing the BAP targets for species-rich hedges in Devon would have a positive socio-economic impact on the local economy.
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