This case study uses a value transfer methodology to assess the costs and benefits of possible changes in ecosystem services from a rewilding project on a private estate in Horsham, Sussex. Rewilding is a process that involves reducing the intensity and changing the type of human intervention and allowing natural processes greater freedom to operate. Practically, the rewilding option in the Knepp Estate initially involved stopping fertiliser and chemical application to the land, and an end to ploughing and intensive grazing. This stimulated the revival of many species of grass and wildflowers. This project reports the likely effects the Knepp rewilding project may have on the ecosystem services provided in the area. A baseline was established and then a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the changes was calculated. The ecosystem services considered included: food and fibre; climate regulation; recreation; education and knowledge; spiritual landscape; aesthetics; and biodiversity. A monetary valuation was then estimated for each of these ecosystem services. Baseline economic values were estimated, and then a monetary value for ecosystem service changes was assigned.
Which ecosystem services were focused on?:
- Crops, livestock, fish
- Carbon sequestration & storage
- Climate regulation