Divis and Black Mountain Social Value Assessment

Two people sat at the top of divis mountain looking over the belfast skyline

Client: National Trust

The Challenge

Natural Capital Assessment (Accounting) for Divis, the Black Mountain and Colin Glen

The Role

Divis & Black Mountain is the single largest green space in the Belfast City Council area, 2000 acres comprising a mosaic of upland habitats, including a number of Priority Habitats (e.g., blanket bog, wet heath and species rich grasslands) that overlooks the city. The mountain was opened to the city by the National Trust in 2004. Numbers of visits have increased from initial estimates of 30,000 per year to now achieving over 180,000 – 200,000 per year (pre-C-19 Pandemic).

The ‘Divis – A View to the Future’ project has developed in response to this significant increase in visitor numbers which is putting strain on the existing limited facilities. The vision of the project is to open-up access and co-create great spaces for both people and the environment to thrive in; however, the value of the site in terms of natural capital – its effect on health, wellbeing, recreation as well as ecological potential within the climate agenda – has not be adequately and tangibly assessed and reported. Nor has its potential as a site adjacent to areas of significant health inequality.

Outscape will assess the social value / benefits of Divis and the Black Mountain and their environs to the local community and potential to improve health and wellbeing: i.e., establish a baseline of social value to enable evidence-based decisions for the implementation and evaluation of future activities.

Outscape will operate as sub-contractor to deliver this specific element.

Staff Lead: Elizabeth Rogers