Cultural values of semi-natural greenspace. A case study of conservation grazing

Smith, DJ, Oldfield, P and James, P ORCID: 2012, Cultural values of semi-natural greenspace. A case study of conservation grazing , in: College of Science and Technology Research Showcase, 21th June 2012, University of Salford.

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Social-ecological systems in modern environmental management bridge the traditional division between ecological and social sciences. These systems comprise frameworks encompassing both human and biophysical components, and in which ecosystem services are embedded. Ecosystem services and goods are the benefits received by humans from nature. One of the lesser explored areas of these benefits are cultural services – those related to the intrinsic knowledge of well-being derived from spending time in nature. The current study examined the cultural effects of a conservation grazing project on an urban centred salt marsh in Widnes, Cheshire. Six Longhorn cattle grazed the unmanaged salt marsh to improve the ecology of the area and increase the value for biodiversity. Ethnographic surveys using participant observation and informal interview were used to survey amount of active interest taken by visitors. Visitors were categorised by activity and comments made by visitors were transcribed for later thematic analysis to extricate ecosystem services. In total 75 hours of survey were carried out. Of 1890 individuals observed, 317 took an active interest in the grazing project. Of the ten bird watchers, 100% took and active interest although this category comprised 0.5% of total visitors. Dog walkers and walkers comprised the categories with the second and third highest interest of 40.54 % and 39.5% respectively. Thematic analysis of comments revealed three main ecosystem goods: natural history interest, historical value, and a sense of ownership. The research shows empirical evidence of the cultural ecosystem services and goods received by humans from a practical nature conservation project on unmanaged salt marsh.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Publisher: University of Salford
Refereed: No
Depositing User: DJ Smith
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2012 22:14
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:57

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