Little Ouse Headwaters Project; Valuing Ecosystem Services

Project description: 

This case study uses a value transfer methodology to assess the costs and benefits of possible changes in ecosystem services from a community-led wetland recreation and restoration project linking remnant valley fens in the headwaters of the Little Ouse River, located on the Suffolk/Norfolk Border. The aim of the community-led project is to re-create and maintain a continuous corridor of wildlife habitat along the fenland headwaters of the Little Ouse. A Natural England report summarises the likely effects the Little Ouse project may have on the ecosystem services provided in the area. The 'ecosystem service changes' are the difference between what is provided now and what will be provided in the future. Two different baselines are established, and a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the changes is calculated. A monetary valuation is estimated for each of the ecosystem services investigated. Baseline economic values are estimated, and a monetary value for ecosystem service changes is assigned.

Organisations involved: 

Natural England

Scale of project: 
Little Ouse River, Suffolk/Norfolk Border
Total area covered by project: 
1 (sq. km)
Special purposes of project: 
Map economic values of ecosystem services
Map social/cultural values
What ecosystem service classification was used?: 

Not specified

Which ecosystem services were focused on?: 

  • Aesthetic/inspiration
  • Education
  • Recreation/tourism
  • Spiritual/religious
  • Crops, livestock, fish
  • Fibre
  • Food
  • Carbon sequestration & storage
  • Climate regulation
  • Detoxification and purification in air, soils and water
  • Flood control
Habitats mapped for ecosystem services: 
Enclosed farmland
Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains
Mountains, moors and heaths
Semi-natural grasslands
Baseline data: 
Habitat or land cover
Human census
Land use data
Contact name: 
Dr. Rob Tinch
Contact job title: 
Lead researcher on case studies: Valuing Changes in Ecosystem Services
425 Chaussee de la Hulpe, Brussels, B-1170
32(0)2 7911003