Ecosystem services in dynamic and contested landscapes : the case of UK uplands
Upland areas are often recognized for their outstanding beauty and for their provision of ecosystem services. Beyond the supply of food and fibre uplands are important for carbon storage and sequestration or provision of drinking water and recreation opportunities. Often the beneficiaries of these services live in distant urban areas. This can lead to a mismatch of costs incurred by those who manage the land providing ecosystem services and those who enjoy their benefits. Policies directed to sustain the long-term delivery of ecosystem services and at the same time the provision for a vibrant rural community therefore need to fully recognize the inseparable interaction between the bio-physical environment and the economic activities taking place in the area. Failure to address the socio-economic characteristics of the uplands and the driving forces influencing behaviour of land managers may jeopardize the continued provision of ecosystem services to society. This chapter discusses the main ecosystem services in UK uplands, their interlinkages and multi-scale characteristics, including the different values placed on different ecosystem services by different groups. It highlights the need for stakeholders to work together to manage synergies and trade-offs between ecosystem services and discusses some of the mechanisms that may be used to achieve this.