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Social and environmental benefits of forests

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. They can also be called "non-market benefits". They include benefits enjoyed by users (e.g. recreation) and those valued by the general population (e.g. biodiversity).

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 study was carried out for the Forestry Commission by a team of environmental economists, drawn from several universities, led by Prof. Ken Willis of the University of Newcastle. 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.

A preliminary phase 1 report (which considered possible methodologies and reviewed previous literature), the final report, and individual reports are available below.

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Valuing Forest Recreation

A follow up study 'valuing forest recreation' was completed in October 2006. This study looks specifically at local economic impacts and values of visits by different user groups.

Any enquiries about this research should be directed to Pat Snowdon in Forestry Commission Economics & Statistics.

Last updated: 2nd February 2016