Forestry in the rural economy: A new approach to assessing the impact of forestry on rural development

R. W. Slee, Deborah Jane Roberts, R. Evans

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    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Forestry contributes to the rural economy in a number of ways: directly as a user of land and resources to transform biological and other inputs into a range of outputs; indirectly through its linkages with upstream suppliers and downstream processing sectors; through the re-spending in rural areas of parts of income derived from forestry and its related industries; through the provision of non-market benefits; and in more opaque, though nonetheless important ways, in providing a desirable location for non-forestry-related business activity and a living environment which many people find attractive. The full range of these economic benefits can be more or less easily enumerated and are likely to vary very substantially from one region to another. In some areas, the forest production sector may be the greater contributor to rural economic well-being; in others the local forest-dependent spending associated with firms and households living in a tree-rich environment might contribute more to local economies than the benefits arising from production forestry. This points to the need for a strong degree of regional, and perhaps more local, differentiation in forest policy and practice, based on a sound knowledge of the relative contributions of different benefit streams (and costs) in particular locations and of the potential trade-offs between production and amenity. This paper presents a new approach to estimating the impact of forestry on rural development and applies this to a case-study area in England.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)441-453
    Number of pages12
    JournalForestry the Journal of the Society of Foresters of Great Britain
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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