menu

Methods and strategies to monitor and manage human impact on urbanized protected areas (UPA)


Case 1: The recreational value of the NPHK

Logo UHasselt Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action

CASE 1: THE RECREATIONAL VALUE OF THE NPHK

Lead

Faculty of Business Economics

Mentor

dr. Dries Maes
dr. Nele Witters

Case

Heathlands in Europe now account for 350,000 ha in Europe, down from several million a couple of centuries ago. In Belgium, 95% of the surface area has been lost. This unique ecosystem harbors specific fauna and flora (like the nightjar, smooth snake, common lizard, crickets, tiger beetles, …), and at the Flemish level, represents a “very rare” but valuable habitat type. A big patch of remaining heathland can be found in the National Park Hoge Kempen (NPHK). The heathland ecosystem provides society with many services, among which is recreation. Per year, the NPHK attracts around 600.000 visitors, so it is an important recreational destination in the region. We would like to estimate the economic value of the NPHK based on its recreational value, as knowing this value would be important for protection and management measures, and also assess the relative importance of this recreational value in the total value of the park.