Cheryl Willis

Department: Geography & Politics
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Sport, Leisure & Tourism Research & Centre for Rural Policy Research

Project Summary

Exploring Nature's Benefits through Tourism and Eudaimonic Well-being: A Case Study of the Jurassic Coast, Dorset


This research  focussed on a coastal landscape, as one example of an environmental setting where people interact with nature and benefit from it in ways which are often 'non-material'.  Such benefits include the arguably more nebulous qualities of nature such as its symbolic, spiritual or cultural properties.  This research contributes to current knowledge of cultural ecosystem services as an expression of the 'benefits of nature' as explored in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and subsequent UK National Ecosystem Assessment.  It improves valuation evidence by employing new and innovative (non-monetary) methodologies which build on a human needs approach to capture and measure the benefits of nature for human well-being. Further, the research explores how cultural ecosystem services values can best be integrated into governance to improve decision-making and implementation.


This research is an ESRC CASE studentship within the Centre for Sport, Leisure and Tourism Research (further information at, held jointly by Geography and Politics departments and part funded by Dorset County Council.






Supervisory Team

Professor Michael Winter OBE:

Dr Robert Fish (Senior Research Fellow):

Dr Stewart Barr:


Wider Research Interests

My research falls within the wider areas of social and cultural geography and my interests include:

  • Relationships between the natural environment and human well-being
  • The motivations and meanings in tourist experiences
  • Sustainable tourism planning
  • Governance and participation in planning processes
  • Values underpinning quality of life, well-being and sustainable development