Key differences exist between how rural and urban people receive benefits from nature (termed ecosystem services; ES). In rural areas, people are thought to have relatively direct relationships with local ecosystems (e.g. growing food on your subsistence farm). By contrast, within urban areas, people often have more indirect access to distant ecosystems (e.g. obtaining food from hundreds of miles away via supermarket value chain). However, this leaves many questions unanswered: e.g., What natural benefits are present within cities?, When do nature’s benefits flow into cities? When do the people travel out to directly receive nature’s benefits? Here, we explore this issue – breaking down ES flows into two components (i.e. the movement of natural goods and the movement of beneficiaries [people]).