The best assessment of heritage values is likely to come from a complementary use of both cultural (see Section 4.3.6) and economic values (Mason 2002, 15), indeed of public values more generally. We are not aware of any work that has specifically looked at the economic value of carved stones, for example of the carved stone heritage trails that exist (the Pictish Trail in Highland etc.), of carved stone-related craftwork, or of mass-produced tourist items. Indeed, work that might have done so in some way, such as the Historic Environment Advisory Council Scotland (HEACS) 2009 report outlining the social and economic context for ecclesiastical heritage, did not engage with carved stones in any way.
There is clearly much work that could be done to consider the economic value of certain carved stones in certain contexts (such as tourism). There is also an economic angle to the ways in which positive community engagement with, for example graveyards, can reduce anti-social behaviour, with its social and economic benefits for society (see Section 6.2.1). Research could also be undertaken on non-use public values, which link back to social values: the ways that individuals value carved stones simply for their existence, often as entities with ‘agency’ (the ability to make a difference) in the community; the way people might want to conserve the carved stones as something they might wish to ‘consume’ at some stage in the future; and the ways in which people might wish to pass on carved stones to generations to come.