Rural surveying

Aerial view of English rural scene © istockphoto.com/fotoVoyager

Rural surveyors have a key role in advising land owners and managers on how to respond to calls to enhance the public benefits arising from land and water. A starting point for this is in considering how the economic valuation of land might more fully reflect the benefits arising from features within land that people consider to be 'natural'. This includes things already valued to some extent in the marketplace (such as certain recreational opportunities), as well as those that are usually not (such as the value of woodland in reducing flood risk).

In 2012, the Land Group of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) published a report entitled From Market Value to Natural Value. This is a useful starting point for considering how rural surveyors can respond to the current interest in valuing nature (see video introduction below).

In 2014 the Ecosystems Knowledge Network organised an event 'Valuing land for all its worth' in which environmental economists and rural surveyors discussed how land is valued for the services provided by the natural environment.

The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers is engaged in this topic and has produced a briefing note covering its perspective on payments for ecosystem services.

A Living with Environmental Change Policy and Practice Note considers how people who advise land owners and managers can incorporate ecosystem services thinking into their practice.

The following pages on this website contain explanations and links to guidance that will be of interest to rural surveyors and valuers.

Charles Cowap, a Chartered Surveyor and Education Specialist with more than 30 years of experience of new developments in rural estate management and valuation, serves as a 'sector champion' for the Network among the rural surveying profession. He has prepared a persepective on ecosystem markets. Charles can be contacted via the Ecosystems Knowledge Network.

Web introduction to the RICS report Market Value to Natural Value: