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Landscapes represent the dynamic interaction of natural and cultural processes acting on the environment. Increasingly human impacts are dominating the natural processes resulting in landscape change and habitat loss. Due to the public good nature of landscapes, no market price exists to indicate their economic value and consequently impacts to the landscape are excluded from decision making processes. To include landscape change within the decision making process, valuation studies have been undertaken; primarily stated preference methods. In common with the valuation of many public goods, Choice Experiments (CE), have dominated the landscape valuation literature. However, CE makes the implicit assumption that the value of the good can be captured by the attributes of the the good. In CE a landscape would be described in terms of its features i.e. trees, field boundries. Drawing from psychology/cognitive research, we explore whether the spatial configuration of those landscape features has an impact on preferences. The findings of two surveys indicate that spatial configuration does have an impact on landscape preferences and therefore potentially on economic values. This would indicate that unless CE can incorporate spatial configuration, they may not be an appropriate method for valuing landscapes.


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