A recent study by the London Borough of Barnet includes the publication of a Corporate Natural Capital Account that quantifies the value of its parks and open spaces. It shows the benefits from open spaces are around 10 times the cost to maintain them.

Natural capital refers to natural assets, such as parks and gardens, which provide recreation, health and well-being benefits to people. The Natural Capital Committee has developed a Corporate Natural Capital Account (CNCA) framework to capture the financial value of natural capital assets and to quantify the costs of sustaining these benefits over time.

Barnet’s population is set to increase significantly over the next 20 years and at the same time the council is facing significant budgetary pressures. The creation of a Corporate Natural Capital Account for Barnet provides the council with evidence to quantify the economic, social and environmental benefits accruing from its green infrastructure assets.

This account shows the enormous value of these open spaces for the well-being of Barnet residents. The total value of benefits from them is estimated at more than £1 billion over the next 25 years. The costs of maintaining these open spaces are estimated at £72 million over the same period – less than a tenth of the benefits they provide.

Click here to read the full report.

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