Ecosystem Services - Landscape

Landscapegrassland

The value of a landscape is something we can particularly relate to in Cornwall, given that 11% of our gross value added (GVA) comes from tourism. Cornwall’s landscape is undoubtedly a draw to visitors when deciding on a destination. In a recent visitor survey, when asked what they most liked about their visit to the county, the word ‘scenery’ came out on top, closely followed by ‘beaches’. The words they most associated with Cornwall included ‘Stunning Coastline’, ‘Unspoilt Countryside’ and ‘Unique Landscape’.

Everyone has their own idea of what makes a ‘good’ landscape, but combined we share a number of common values. For example, we can all broadly agree that a wooded river valley is an attractive sight, whereas a commercial solar farm spoils the view. We carried out a survey of people’s opinions on landscape value and used this data as a basis for deciding how best to score this service.

The highest scoring sites will contain one or more designations relating to landscape value (such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and will contain splendid views and/or attractive features. Low-scoring sites may still have value in the landscape, but views may be restricted or spoilt by features outside of the site boundary.