This page contains studies relating to non-market costs and benefits of forest, such as recreation and biodiversity.
Valuing the Social and Environmental outputs of forestry in England, Scotland and Wales (February 2017)
This report, and accompanying research note and valuation tool (and accompanying guidance), provides an assessment of current knowledge of economic values applied to forestry. It also provides a narrative of forestry’s role in ‘the natural factory’, delivering a wide range of outcomes for businesses and society.
JBA Consulting was commissioned to assess the flood alleviation benefits of woodland planting at an upland site in Nottinghamshire. Incorporating the impacts of woodland into hydraulic models enabled JBA to model the physical impacts of planting on flood levels and therefore to estimate the economic value of associated flood relief benefits.
Woodland Carbon Code Co-benefits (November 2016)
This study identifies and measures the wider social, environmental and local economic benefits of Woodland Carbon Code projects in the UK, also referred to as ‘co-benefits’. The need to assess the co-benefits or wider effects of carbon emissions reduction strategies is highlighted in the Paris Climate Change agreement. It aims to provide evidence on how action to tackle climate change can help deliver other policy objectives.
Comparing and valuing the impacts of Oak Processionary Moth in the Netherlands to England (November 2015)
This study was carried out for the Forestry Commission by SRUC. It assesses data, literature, management approaches and governance frameworks on Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) in the Netherlands, where OPM is wide-spread, and considers potential implications for England. The study reviews available literature from both countries and considers potential implications for a wider outbreak in London. It examines impacts, primarily in terms of management costs and health care costs in the context of the Dutch risk-based approach to managing OPM.
This study assesses the cost-effectiveness of a range of woodland types across England, Scotland and Wales in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The study uses two measures of cost-effectiveness: a physical measure (cost per tonne of CO2 removed) and a value measure (comparing the cost against the value of the CO2 removed). The study develops a "marginal abatement cost curve" which shows how much CO2 removal can be achieved through planting new woodlands for a given cost. Cost-effectiveness is considered over two time horizons: first, to 2050 and, second, to 2200. The analysis takes account of the benefits of storing carbon in wood products and of substituting wood for more carbon-intensive product and fuels.
This report by Adas-Eftec reviews a range of models and ecological, forestry and economic evidence on woodlands’ contribution to regulating water quality and quantity and proposes a number of options for conducting a valuation study on these benefits.
Green Infrastructure Valuation Tools Assessment (October 2013) (Natural England website)
This report was commissioned by Natural England to draw together a number of the most widely used tools and assess them against research standards for natural science and economics. The aim is to help people wanting to value green infrastructure choose the best tool for them. As well as descriptions and the assessment of the tools, links to further information and examples of the use of the tools are provided. The report also points to the key gaps in the tools available highlighting areas for further work.
Microeconomic Evidence for the Benefits of Investment in the Environment - Review (March 2012) (Natural Engand website)
This review was designed by Natural England to help make the case for the natural environment to decision makers, such as Local Authorities and Local Economic Partnerships. The natural environment offers many benefits which are often taken for granted, until they are lost or damaged. Furthermore, deliberate investment in the natural environment can produce benefits in ways which may not be considered in economic planning. These can often represent better value for money than more technological solutions. This review provides evidence which will help decision-makers take account of the benefits of the environment. This package provides evidence about the economic benefits of environment in an accessible format. It highlights potential benefits, reviews the evidence for them and gives references to support the case.
This study, carried out by EFTEC, reviews existing literature on valuing ecosystem services produced by Britain's forests, identifies gaps in the evidence base and suggests future research priorities whilst highlighting key challenges and uncertainties that could arise from the valuation of ecosystem services. There is also a case study which considers practical market opportunities for forest ecosystem services.
Economic Valuation of the Benefits of Ecosystem Services delivered by the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (August 2011) (Aberystwyth University)
The aim of this primary valuation research study, led by Defra, is to estimate the value of changes in biodiversity and associated ecosystem services which will result directly from the delivery of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP).
The UK National Ecosystem Assessment (June 2011) (UK NEA website)
This is an independent, peer reviewed assessment of the state of the natural environment in the UK and a new way of estimating national wealth. It shows how we have under-valued our natural resources. Valuing them properly will enable better decision making, more certain investment, new avenues to wealth creation and jobs, and greater human well-being in times changing ahead.
Benefits of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (June 2011) (Defra website)
This report presents the findings of a study of the benefits of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in England and Wales. Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) represent the principal national designation for places of importance for biodiversity and geodiversity in Great Britain. They are protected by law, and effort and resources are devoted to achieve sympathetic management to maintain their conservation interest.
The Economic Contribution of the Public Forest (January 2010)
This research analyses the social, economic, and environmental contribution of the Public Forest Estate in England and examines ways of increasing this contribution.
This study was undertaken for the Forestry Commission by a team of environmental economists and social researchers, lead by Dr Mike Christie at Aberystwyth University. The study looks specifically at recreational users of forests, with the first stage focusing on the local economic impacts of visitors. It also aimed to analyse the value that different groups of users attach to their visits, be it for cycling, horse riding, nature watching or a general visit. Further analysis was undertaken to see what preferences these groups had for services at forest sites.
The scoping study investigates the economic benefits, in terms of physical and mental health, of changes in the provision of accessible greenspace. The study reviews existing research evidence and methodologies, and sets out proposals for subsequent research.
Social and Environmental Benefits of Forestry - Factsheet (November 2004)
This is one of several factsheets published by the Forestry Commission on various aspects of sustainable forest management.
This study assesses the economic contribution of forestry to tourism in Scotland, England and Wales. Phase 1 reports the results of a scoping study in 1999/2000 to look at existing data, research and methodology. Phase II (summary report and main report) reports the results of the main study.
This report encompasses two interlinked research projects. The first of these investigates the potential for generating transferable models for predicting visitor arrival numbers at woodland recreation sites across Great Britain. The second project sets out to estimate transferable monetary assessments of the value of such woodland visits through a meta-analysis of previous valuation studies.
Social and Environmental Benefits of Forest 2003 Main Report; Air Pollution Report; Archaeology Report; Biodiversity Report; Carbon Sequestration Report; Landscape Report; Recreation Report; Water Report
The description "social and environmental benefits" refers to aspects of forests that do not produce a financial return, but are perceived by the public as being benefits. A major study was completed in 2003, with the aim of estimating a combined value for all the non-market benefits of forests, instead of estimating separate values for each aspect as in previous research. The research started by looking at values for separate aspects, each of which is documented in a report. The findings are drawn together in the final report, for which the individual reports are appendices.