Report number: 69/2019

Title Heritage, Natural Capacity and Ecosystem: Case Study Wrecks in Coastal and Marine Ecosystem: The Goodwin Sands and Kent Coast
Summary The environment we have inherited today is the result of a combination of human activities and natural processes, some of which have occurred over millennia. Archaeological sites and landscapes form both physical manifestations of this ongoing human-environment relationship, and arenas in which this relationship will be played out today and in the future. Recognising the important role of past human activity in shaping our environment, the influence that environment has had on our past, and its current relationship with physical remains of that past, is critical to future approaches to management. The environment plays an important role in human wellbeing, and both cultural and natural heritage give rise to social and economic values, through the goods and services they provide. Natural capital assets are those features of the environment from which Ecosystems Services flow. Identification of these services and their associated economic and social values is the aim of Ecosystems Services (ES) and Natural Capital assessments. These highly influential management frameworks have arisen from the need for the natural environment to be better represented in policy and decision-making. The aim of the current project has been to develop a methodology to allow for the historic environment to be better included in these assessments, and to provide a pilot study to show how this would work in a marine and coastal context. This project sought specifically to bring together the natural and cultural elements of marine archaeological assets (wreck sites) to consider the Ecosystems Services they provide. The wrecks within our study area, the Kent Coast and Goodwin Sands, were found to contribute to the provision of food (fish), cultural heritage, recreation and tourism, aesthetic value, inspiration, social relations and habitats for species. While the value of heritage to tourism and recreation for example is well known, the ecosystems services framework represents a useful means of identifying beneficiaries whose use of the sites may relate to factors other than their heritage value. For example, use of a wreck site by anglers.
Series Other
Pages 91
  • Evans, Sally
  • Davison, Matt
Keywords Marine ,  Wreck