Impacts of Reforestation on Ecosystem Services in an Upland Landscape in the UK: an analysis with WaterWorld and Co$ting Nature

Project description: 

Co$ting Nature is a web-based tool (Policy Support System - PSS) for analysing the ecosystem services provided by natural environments, identifying the beneficiaries of these services and assessing the impacts of human interventions. Co$ting Nature incorporates detailed spatial datasets at 1-square km and 1-hectare resolution for the entire world. It has been applied to a range of site-scale and national-scale context globally, including sites in the UK. This example uses the Co$ting Nature tool to examine water-related services in Cumbria. Extensive native woodland and scrub planting is being carried out in upland Cumbria. This has the potential to significantly impact ecosystem service delivery. There is, therefore, a need for evidence to aid decision making on a local scale. Water provisionary and regulating services are currently extremely important in Cumbria, due to severe flooding of the county. As a result, emphasis on how changes in land use of upland areas can help mitigate flooding are important to stakeholders and inform decision making on a local scale. Co$ting Nature allowed baseline data to be drawn within the study site boundaries and compared with the different impacts afforestation scenarios may provide.

Organisations involved: 

University of Cumbria, Forestry Commission England

Scale of project: 
Upland Cumbria
Special purposes of project: 
Map ecosystem services

Which ecosystem services were focused on?: 

  • Drinking water
  • Water supply
  • Climate regulation
  • Flood control
  • Hazard regulation
Habitats mapped for ecosystem services: 
Enclosed farmland
Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains
Mountains, moors and heaths
Key outputs available: 

Impacts of reforestation on Ecosystem Services in an Upland Landscape in the UK: an analysis with WaterWorld and Co$ting Nature, available at:

Contact name: 
Sara Iversen
Contact job title: 
Author of PhD project
University of Cumbria
The Barn, Rydal Road, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9BB
01931 714902