Csurgó, Bernadett – Smith, Melanie K. (2021) The value of cultural ecosystem services in a rural landscape context, Journal of Rural Studies (IF: 3.544)
Academic interest in ecosystem services has been growing in the past ten years or more with an increasing number of research studies and papers being dedicated to this complex and diverse field of enquiry. However, Cultural Ecosystem Services have been relatively under-researched, especially in terms of their value to landscapes. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) argued that cultural services and values were not recognised enough in landscape planning and management, therefore the implications for rural landscape development are considered in this paper. This paper focuses on the value of Cultural Ecosystem Services in two rural landscapes in Hungary (Őrség and Kalocsa) using in-depth interviews with a range of local stakeholders. The research analyses the relative value of different categories of Cultural Ecosystem Services focusing mainly on social, symbolic and economic values. The findings reveal the central importance of cultural heritage in relation to other categories of CES, especially its social and symbolic values.