Reconnecting the Broads and Fens: Valuing Ecosystem Services

Project description: 

This study seeks to assess the costs and benefits of possible changes in ecosystem services following a project reconnecting wetland ecosystems within the Norfolk Broads. It describes and measures (where possible) the impacts that reconnection would have on the different ecosystem services provided by the Broads. The main direct effects of the reconnection of wetland ecosystems (waterways and fens) include the provision of corridors for aquatic wildlife, and more generally, enhanced natural functioning of extensive connected habitats. The main ecosystem service benefits arising from The Broads include recreation (land and water based), biodiversity conservation, drinking water and water for agricultural and industrial uses, climate regulation, flood control, and landscape and cultural values. The agricultural landscape contributes many other important services including habitat for wildlife, protection of historic sites and features, flood protection and management, and recreational opportunities. The reconnection project will influence these services in various ways. A Natural England report outlines the ecosystem services that will be affected by the Norfolk Broads reconnection project and summarises the changes that will likely happen. A baseline is 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: 
The Broads National Park, Norfolk
Total area covered by project: 
303 (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
  • Drinking water
  • Energy
  • Fibre
  • Food
  • Carbon sequestration & storage
  • Climate regulation
  • Detoxification and purification in air, soils and water
  • Erosion control
  • Flood control
Habitats mapped for ecosystem services: 
Coastal margins
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