ORVal (Outdoor recreation valuation tool)


ORVal is a freely accessible web-based tool that predicts the number of visits to existing and new greenspaces in England, and estimates the welfare value of those visits in monetary terms. It is based on an econometric model of recreational demand derived from MENE data. Users can examine the recreational value of existing green space and test how the number of visits and the value of these visits might change if the land cover was changed, or if new green spaces were created. Results can be grouped by local authority area or catchment, and can be split by socio-economic group.


All input data is provided internally by the tool – the user just has to choose an existing green space by clicking on the map, or specify the land cover of altered or newly created green space.

Quantitative data on ecosystem services
Tables / statistics / reports
Economic assessment
Cost-benefit assessment
Site scale
Local scale
Landscape scale
Regional scale
National scale
Cost of the tool (and guidance): 
Open access (free)
Green space for public access / recreation.
Resource requirement (software): 
Access to internet.
Level of technical expertise required: 
Internet use skills
Types of ecosystem service included: 
Habitat type (UK NEA habitats): 
Mountains, moors and heaths
Semi-natural grasslands
Enclosed farmland
Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains
Coastal margins
How does it work?: 

The user can zoom into a map of England and Wales showing existing publicly-accessible green spaces (parks, countryside paths, woods, beaches, allotments, cemeteries, nature areas etc.). The maps also show information on the habitat types (woodland, agriculture, natural grass, managed grass etc.), designations (SSSI, nature reserve, etc.) and points of interest (historic site, archaeology, scenic feature, viewpoint, playground) at those sites. Estimates of visits to each site and the value generated from those visits is estimated via an econometric model of recreation trip choice (specifically a random utility travel cost model) based on seven years of data from the weekly MENE (monitor of engagement with the natural environment) survey (2009 to 2016). Trip and value estimates control for the socio-economic characteristics of local populations as well as the location, size, land covers and features of a site and, importantly, of substitute sites.

Where can I get it?: