The Value of Countryside and Visitor Management Services
The social return from investing in providing countryside and visitor management services in the Pentland Hills Regional Park is about £9 for every £1 invested.
Greenspace Scotland. (2013). The value of countryside and visitor management services in the Pentland Hills Regional Park: Social Return on Investment Analysis. Stirling, UK: Greenspace Scotland.
This analysis was commissioned by City of Edinburgh Council who wanted to demonstrate and value the multiple benefits that accrue from the collective investment of partner local authorities in providing countryside and visitor management services in the Pentland Hills Regional Park. In a time of financial restrictions it was felt important to identify the changes that key stakeholders experienced and to reflect their value in monetary terms.
Social Return on Investment (SROI) measures social, environmental and economic change from the perspective of those who experience or contribute to it. It can be used to identify and apply a monetary value to represent each change that is measured. The resultant financial value is then adjusted to take account of contributions from others. In this way the overall impact of an activity can be calculated and the value generated compared to the investment in the activities. This enables a ratio of cost to benefits to be calculated.
By talking to the many groups and organisations that use the park it was possible to identify, and value, the many benefits that are received. These were extremely wide ranging and included better health and wellbeing, the acquisition of new practical and social skills, the provision of expert advice and assistance, conflict resolution, and generating additional revenues.
It was found that every £1 invested would generate around £9 of benefits. By applying a sensitivity analysis, or varying any assumptions made in the calculation, the value of the benefits derived ranges from £7 to £13.