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Valuing the social and environmental contribution of woodlands and trees in England, Scotland and Wales

Amii Harwood, Brett Day, Greg Smith, Ian Bateman, Matthew Agarwala

Lead Author: Amy Binner

Home publication Valuing the social and environmental contribution of woodlands and trees in England, Scotland and Wales

Woodlands and trees have a wide-ranging role in the economy but this is often under-valued in conventional economic indicators. For example, woodlands deliver social and environmental benefits – such as outdoor access, biodiversity and carbon sequestration – which are largely unpriced in economic transactions but which have important impacts on the economy and on society’s welfare. This review provides an overview of existing knowledge and evidence on the social and environmental outputs of forestry in Britain and identifies priorities for future research. It uses the concept of the ‘natural factory’ to explain how natural assets such as woodlands contribute to different economic production processes. It evaluates underpinning scientific research, economic valuation evidence, and provides a separate assessment for urban trees and woodlands. It also examines evidence needs relating to key developments in economic thinking and practice including natural capital accounting and a new generation of integrated decision support tools. Despite a substantial extant body of evidence, further research is needed to fill significant gaps in knowledge in order for the full economic contribution of woodlands to be understood.
A summary based on the full review is also available to download as a Research Note.

fcrp027

PDF, 2.08 MB

Published
2017
Publication type
Research Report
Publication owner
Forestry Commission