The environment and its ecosystems provide many benefits for people. Collectively, these are known as ecosystem services. England’s upland environment supplies a range of valuable ecosystem services. Examples include:
- landscapes and wildlife for recreation, challenge and learning – to improve health and well-being;
- climate regulation through carbon storage in soils and vegetation;
- fresh water supply;
- potential to reduce flood risk downstream; and
- production of energy, food and wood.
This work was commissioned as part of our Upland Futures Project, which is developing our long term vision for the upland environment in 2060.
The scope of this research is to examine the use of economic valuation techniques for valuing the ecosystem service changes due to upland management interventions and policies at a wide range of scales. Applications could range from ‘simple‘ valuation of a farm-scale forestry project, to highly complex combinations of policies at different locations across a whole catchment or national park and wider.
The research aims to develop a methodology and to test its applicability to a number of management changes at a range of scales. The results will lead to recommendations about where and how to apply economic valuation techniques for uplands ecosystem services, and point to where further research is most needed.