A comparison of cultural ecosystem service survey methods within south England

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  • Simon Willcock
    University of Southampton
  • Brittany J. Camp
  • Kelvin S. -H. Peh
Across all societies, humans depend on goods received from nature, termed ecosystem services. However, cultural ecosystem services (CES), the non-material benefits people obtain from ecosystems, are often overlooked in land-use decision making due to their intangible nature. This study aimed to evaluate three possible survey methods for site-based CES data collection; language-based supervised surveys (in which interviewers conduct surveys in real-time, recording verbal responses), language-based unsupervised surveys (respondents complete written surveys without an interviewer), and image-based unsupervised surveys (respondents complete surveys via image selection without an interviewer). Language-based supervised surveys were found to be more efficient in collecting CES data than language-/image-based unsupervised surveys, with a mean completion rate over 1.5-fold greater than either unsupervised survey; furthermore, survey completion was over twice as fast, and less than a sixth of the monetary cost per respondent compared to unsupervised surveys. The site-based assessment developed in this study provides robust data, and is shown to provide rapid and useful feedback to land-use decision makers. We recommend that rapid, site-based assessment methods are utilised to collect the information required to support CES-related decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-450
JournalEcosystem Services
Issue numberB
Early online date12 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes
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