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
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 (based on OpenStreetMap) showing existing green spaces (allotments, cemeteries, country parks, golf courses, nature areas, parks, woods and beaches), paths and access points. The maps also show 23 habitat types from the CEH Land Cover Map 2007 (e.g. woodland, agriculture, natural grass, managed grass, sports pitches, built-up) within areas or alongside paths as coloured dots on a 25m grid. Designations (SSSI, Nature reserve, etc.) and points of interest (historic site, archaeology, scenic feature, viewpoint, playground) are also shown. The number of trips to each site or path segment is estimated via an econometric model based on data from the last seven years of the weekly MENE (monitor of engagement with the natural environment) survey, taking into account socio-economic characteristics, location, size, land covers, water margins, designations and points of interest. The value of the trips is based on the travel cost, in terms of vehicle fuel and travel time.

Where can I get it?: