Forestry Commission logo


Research Note
Pat Snowdon, Amy Binner, Greg Smith, Matthew Agarwala, Brett Day, Ian Bateman, Amii Harwood
This Research Note is based on a review by the University of Exeter that evaluated existing knowledge on valuing the social and environmental contributions of British trees and woodlands. It starts by bringing together different (but related) economic terms and concepts in a single framework for understanding how trees and woodlands contribute to economic well-being, then sets out some guiding principles that distinguish this area of study. Tables are used to categorise and to summarise the evidence base of the social and environmental contributions (including consideration of decision support tools and a separate assessment for urban trees). A further table summarises priorities for future research, both to fill gaps in understanding and to develop more advanced techniques and models. The Note concludes that much work has been done on valuing the flows of social and environmental goods and services from trees and woodlands in Britain. A substantial evidence base has developed, particularly in relation to open-access recreation and climate change mitigation. However, major gaps remain in other areas including the role of woodlands in flood alleviation, water quality, physical and mental health, and biodiversity. The Note highlights the need for sound underpinning science and the need for more integrated approaches to valuation, assessment and decision-making tools. Future research efforts should focus on areas where significant additions to existing evidence are realistic and where effort will provide the greatest benefits for policy and operational decision-making.

The full review undertaken by the University of Exeter is also available to download as a Research Report.

A4 | 10 pages | colour | online only
Stock code:FCRN027

What's of interest

Please direct orders to:
Forestry Commission Publications
PO Box 785

T: 0161 495 4845
F: 0161 495 4840