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Forest benefits are now commonly understood through the ecosystem service framework. Recreational visits to forests, considered an important cultural service, have been the target of a significant proportion of the non-market valuation literature to date. Such models have evolved from relatively simple travel cost models to employing GIS to develop spatial demand models. Due to restrictions on accessing private land, forests are a particularly important recreational resource in Ireland as those which are publicly owned are accessible to the public and free to use. In addition, recent policies directed at private forests have included attempts to encourage owners to open their forests to the public. This study outlines the development of a spatially explicit recreation demand model for Ireland that describes how visitation differs across the population based on population characteristics and existing recreational resources. The model combines a zero-inflated negative binomial model of annual forest visits of a random sample of individuals with a simulated population model of Ireland and spatial data on household location. The results include an estimation of annual forest visitation and the development of a demand map that highlights where forest expansion could be targeted to maximise the recreational value of afforestation.


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