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Project calendar

21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

Brrr-ace yourselves! Cairngorms: The Winter Edition

Despite warnings of strong winds and snow forecast for the North of Scotland, Jan Dick and Cecilia Zagaria set off from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology on a late December afternoon. Equipped with designed maps and questionnaires, they boarded the much needed pick-up truck with a purpose and direction: to run a pilot survey for the spatial investigation of community values for cultural ecosystem services in Glenlivet Estate, deep within the snowy ridges of the Cairngorms National Park.

The local town of Tomintoul welcomed the two researchers to its whitened streets, busy with locals and tourists hurrying through their mundane activities with added festive cheer. Whilst sampling home-made mince pies, Jan and Cecilia ran through the survey with local community members, stressing the importance of expressing their individual appreciation for cultural services they perceived their familiar landscape was currently providing. Answers illustrated a strong variety in the identified locations, recreational activities and terminology used by the different respondents. Furthermore, the respondents provided invaluable feedback for survey and map design, based on which Jan and Cecilia are currently re-working the topographical map to include more detail and re-defining and providing examples of cultural services and disservices as to allow for a more intuitive understanding.

The two researchers hope to return in January to run the final survey (weather and snow-gates permitting, of course!).

Cecilia Zagaria is an intern at CEH for four months from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. She is doing a project to determine the valuation of ecosystem services in Glenlivet Estate.

Photo (top): Cecilia Zagaria at Tomintoul, Glenlivet Estate, Cairngorms National Park, © Jan Dick

Photo (bottom): Volunteers completing a test questionnaire to value the ecosystem service of Glenlivet Estate, © Jan Dick