Rural pleasures have their price
Researchers from the University of Newcastle claim to have finally proved what estate agents have always known - a spot of greenery does wonders for property prices. Living next to a wood adds up to 7 per cent to a house's value, the university's countryside change unit said.
The unit has also succeeded in putting a pounds sign on what many consider to be priceless - the beauties of the English countryside. It says that the Yorkshire Dales are worth pounds 42m. With more hay meadows and better-maintained drystone walls, their value would be even higher.
The findings of the countryside change programme, backed by the Economic and Social Research Council, will be launched at a seminar at the Royal Society of Arts in London today. They represent the latest attempt by environmental economists to meet the free market on its own ground, by demonstrating that everything has its price.
Philip Lowe, Professor of Rural Economy at Newcastle, said some might find the idea distasteful. 'The fact remains that if you label something as priceless it will be given zero value because decision makers refuse to give it infinite value. The things that we price from the countryside no one any longer values . . . while the things that we value don't have a price.'
Dr Ken Willis, a director of the unit, said more money should be spent on what people really value in the countryside, such as landscape and wildlife. He argues that things are assigned an 'implicit' monetary value, for example in the level of government grant to such bodies as the Forestry and Countryside commissions.
The unit calculates that pounds 900m should be added to the national income accounts to take account of the landscape and amenity benefits of agriculture and forestry. It says people would be prepared to pay pounds 42m to keep the Dales National Park unchanged. However, the annual recreational value of forestry is put at pounds 8.7m, little more than its pounds 8.5m government amenity.
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...