What does nature feel like? Using embodied walking interviews to discover cultural ecosystem services

Teff-Seker, Yael; Rasilo, Terhi; Dick, Jan ORCID:; Goldsborough, David; Orenstein, Daniel E.. 2022 What does nature feel like? Using embodied walking interviews to discover cultural ecosystem services. Ecosystem Services, 55, 101425. 10, pp.

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The development of cultural ecosystem services (CES) concept has progressed beyond the common categories of economic benefits from tourism and recreation, and yet definitions of CES remain vague and often shallow. It is necessary to develop methodologies that can more fully express the depth of meaning of non-material benefits humans receive from nature to both strengthen the conceptual foundation of CES, and to support the evaluation, management, and decision-making processes pertaining to protected areas and other environments. This study demonstrates how embodied interviews, conducted with informants while walking in nature, capture real-time intuitive and grounded perceptions of, and reactions to, four different ecosystem types and their associated services. The results provide a deeper and more nuanced understanding of diverse human-nature relationships and reflect two distinct groups of CES values or themes: general (common across research sites) and local (site-specific). The twelve General CES include cognitive and psychological services, among them calmness and newness, heightened imagination and curiosity, increased energy and motivation, and gaining new perspectives. Local themes differed from one ecosystem to another and included more biodiversity- and geodiversity-related values pertaining to local species and geology, as well as more sensory-based experiences.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2212-0416
Additional Keywords: cultural ecosystem services, embodied thinking, relational values, focusing, protected areas, grounded theory
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 06 Apr 2022 15:30 +0 (UTC)

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