Monetary value is a green space weapon

The critical and urgent task of quantifying the full economic impact of green space in the UK has moved a step closer this week with two very welcome pieces of news.

The first, as we report this week, is the securing of cash from the Big Lottery Fund for groundbreaking research led by charity Greenspace Scotland that will place a monetary value on the impact of a series of community green space projects. The research programme, which follows the publication by the charity of a pilot study of the social return on investment in one green space project this autumn — the first of its kind in the country — is critical for two reasons.

Firstly, because it includes within its assessment the social benefits that communities derive from the use of green space — factors that, while recognised by some policy-makers, have been assumed to be unmeasurable in monetary terms and hence omitted from the investment decision-making process.

Secondly, as we noted when the pilot study was published, by plugging the gaps within what can be measured, the programme is creating exactly the kind of model required by the green space sector to prove its worth in the coming battle for funds.

The second piece of good news is that although green space professionals will have to wait for two years to see the fruits of this analysis, they can benefit today from another crucial study on an identical mission, this time from The Mersey Forest partnership.

Like Greenspace Scotland, the Mersey Forest team has sought to assess a fuller range of social, economic and environmental benefits of its investment in green space - in this case, creating community woodlands. The analysis shows a return on investment that the team rightly concludes illustrates excellent value for money.

As we've said many times, the ability of such studies to aid green space professionals facing cuts or fighting for investment can't be underestimated. Arm yourself with a copy now and add it to the small but growing war chest of research uncovering the monetary value of green space. Better still, use it to argue the case for an analysis that can prove the monetary value of green space in your region today.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Mitigating climate change, providing windbreaks and reducing the risk of soil erosion are some of the best reasons for planting trees, says Sally Drury.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Landscape Contracts & Tenders

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space

Read Noel Farrer