Skip to main content

The Economic Benefits Supported by Land Management – A Case Study of Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve (NERR084)

Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve (NNR) is a magnificent 530ha wetland reserve, situated at the heart of the Somerset Levels and Moors. The Reserve has a fascinating geology and history, and a hugely rich and diverse flora and fauna. Its range and mosaic of habits enables a wide array of birds, mammals, invertebrates and plants to carve out their niches and find a home there. The reserve is also an important site for public engagement. Thousands of visitors use the reserve each year for wildlife watching and quiet recreation, alongside a vibrant public engagement and volunteering programme.
The report assesses the benefits that were supported by land management at Shapwick Heath NNR in 2017. It does this from three perspectives.
• First, by developing a corporate natural capital account for Shapwick Heath NNR to document the environmental benefits the NNR provides (Section 2).
• Second, by assessing the economic contribution the NNR makes to the local and regional economy in terms of the economic activity and employment it supports (Section 3).
• Third, by assessing the value of the health benefits from exercise supported by the NNR (Section 4).1
The study demonstrates that the benefits supported by Shapwick Heath NNR could be roughly estimated using readily available data. The results will help understand and communicate the various benefits the NNR provides to society. However, most estimates of economic benefits are partial and there is a low level of confidence in them. One should be mindful of these limitations when interpreting the figures (which are for 2017) and using them to inform communication or to support decision-making.
It would be relatively straightforward to make such estimates for several NNRs or land management at a landscape scale if the necessary data were available. To assist with similar assessments at different sites the report specifies the site-specific information that is needed for an assessment and suggests survey questions for data collection (Appendix A). It also provides detail of the methods used in the different assessments (Section 2.1, Section 3.1, and Section 4.1). Details on the calculations can be found in the Excel workbook that was used for the study.
The remainder of this section provides a brief introduction and summary of the results of Shapwick Heath NNR’s corporate natural capital account, the NNR’s contribution to the local and regional economy, and the health benefits supported by the NNR.

Downloads available for this record

File Uploaded
NERR084 Edition 1 - The Economic Benefits Supported by Land Management:: A Case Study of Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve, PDF, 710.6 kB 2020/09/18
NERR084 - Worksheet Economic Benefits of Shapwick Heath NNR, XLSX, 313.4 kB 2020/09/18