Natural and cultural heritage in mountain landscapes: towards an integrated valuation
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Mountain areas of Europe have been managed by humans for a long time, leading to a prevalence of semi-natural habitats in mountain landscapes today. These landscapes contain both natural and cultural heritage; however, natural and cultural heritage are rarely considered together when valuing landscapes and developing management plans in protected areas. Here we present a case study of seven protected areas in the mountains of Great Britain and Norway. We take a long-term perspective on landscape and land-use change and propose an integrated model of landscape valuation on the basis of combined natural and cultural heritage. Our model plots indicators of natural and cultural heritage along a gradient of land-use intensity, allowing simultaneous assessment and highlighting how valuation depends on what type of heritage is considered. We show that while contemporary land-use changes follow similar trajectories in Norway and Britain, different land-use histories mean that the loss of heritage differs between the regions. The model presented here thus allows for the consolidation of valuation based on both cultural and natural heritage in landscapes.