Estimating amenity values of street trees and woodland views: a methodological review


How can you estimate the value that urban communities get from trees and wooded views?

SummaryFamily walking in urban woodland near  Drumchapel, Glasgow. Central Scotland Conservancy

Street trees and woodland views can deliver a wide range of economic, social and health benefits. Forest Research assesseUrban forestry . Variety of mature trees in a well landscaped park area between a road and a large housing development . Location: Livingston , Lothian , Scotland .d mTree lined avenues and small woods soften the urban landscape of southwest Edinburgh.ethodologies, especially spatial GIS techniques, for estimating the value of these benefits.

Key findings and recommendations


  • Most amenity valuations use revealed and stated preference methods
  • There are few nationwide or large-scale valuations of street trees or woodland views in the UK, based on GIS analysis
  • The amenity value of woodlands often depends on species composition and conditions; in the UK broadleaved or mixed woodlands have a positive effect on house prices
  • New woodlands yield the highest marginal benefits at the urban fringe
  • Household characteristics (e.g. education and income level, and the presence of children) can affect the valuation of amenity woodland and open space
  • There is a trade-off between the value of timber production and visual amenity values of woodland, especially at the urban fringe
  • Visible clear-cut sites can have major negative impacts on visual amenity values


  • Hedonic pricing methods are appropriate for case studies which investigate links between the property market, recreation and local use greenspace
  • Stated preference methods (i.e. surveys or benefit transfer from the previous surveys) are most appropriate for large-scale changes and/or where non-use or total values are sought
  • Future econometric studies should test for functional specification in hedonic models and control for the presence of spatial autocorrelations


Funders and partners

Commissioned and funded by the Forest Commission


The project was completed in 2009.


For further information contact:

Vadim Saraev