Valuing land for all it is worth

In association with the Royal Institution of Chartered Sureyors (RICS) and the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV), the Ecosystems Knowledge Network held a seminar for environmental economists and rural surveyors on 2nd October 2014. The event was sponsored by consultants URS.


The RICS report From Market Value to Natural Value (2012) predicted that new ways of valuing what nature does for people will “transform the way we manage land, undertake development, appraise and value assets and pay for a range of goods and services.” As shown in the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, environmental economics is doing much to articulate the often unrecognised value of nature to society. Along with RICS, CAAV has been working to identify whether there are practical and concrete opportunities for landowners and what issues they pose for advisers. Private payments for ecosystem services schemes are a starting point for showing how ideas about valuing nature might increase rural land values.

The event involved discussion of current ideas in valuing nature research and what these might mean for professional land valuation. It also considered the transferability of 'real world' examples of schemes in which biodiversity and ecosystem services are being traded. The following presentations were made during the day:

Keynote presentation

Professor Ian Hodge (Cambridge University): The values of rural land

Environmental economist perspectives

Ian Dickie (eftec): Applied environmental economics: Valuing land

Petrina Rowcroft (URS): Realising nature's value

Land valuer perspectives

Nick Millard (Michelmore Hughes and University of Reading)

Hugh Fell (George F. White).

Case study session

Payments for ecosystem services on Exmoor

A practical exercise involved discussion of a ficticious scenario.