Cultural ecosystem services in the UK: Lessons on designing indicators to inform management and policy

Jamie A. Tratalos, Roy Haines-Young, Marion Potschin, Fish Robert, Andrew Church

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We explore the degree to which a useful and cost-effective set of cultural ecosystem services (CES) indicators can be produced at different spatial scales in the UK, using readily available data. We place this within the conceptual framework developed for the understanding of CES produced by the recent UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) and its Follow-on.We examine a set of ‘supply-side’ stock indicators, involving the calculation of the percentage cover of environmental places such as woodlands, country parks and private gardens. Although stock indicators can be used to measure the potential of different localities to deliver CES, the accessibility of these environmental places to local populations also needs to be understood. We illustrate this with indicators based on access to four types of environmental space: ancient woodland, country parks, nature reserves and areas with natural cover. We illustrate how both the stock- and access-based indicators could be used to benchmark Local Authority Districts (LADs) across the whole of the UK. We explore how a range of indicators can be developed from readily available information to compare the quality of environmental places at a more local level, using The City of Nottingham LAD as an example. We also examine the potential to use a household survey, the UK Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE), to estimate demand for certain types of cultural practice and environmental place, and to use relationships revealed in this information to estimate the degree to which supply and demand for these practices and places match one another
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Indicators
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


  • Cultural ecosystem services
  • Indicators
  • Benchmarking
  • National Ecosystem Assessment


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