|not quite gone (field near Kingswinford)|
England's natural environment is in decline and its deterioration is harming the economy, an independent advisory group has told the government. The Natural Capital Committee says pressures will rise with population growth and has called for a 25-year investment plan. [...] Its report said measures like investing in improved air quality and greener cities would bring economic benefits.After years of non-stop erosion, degradation and decline of the natural environment, a 25-year investment plan is needed to put things (economically) right. Cleaning up Britain's dirty air ('saving on health expenditure'), restoring peat bogs and creating wetlands ('preventing floods'), improving fisheries ('saving on health') and improving green spaces in cities ('get people outdoors and improve their mental and physical health'). "improving the natural environment provides valuable goods and services to people such as clean air, clean water and recreation in both urban and rural populations, and can save our NHS billions." And the historical environment? Oh yes, getting fat people out there clambering over stiles, swinging coils and digging holes in the archaeological record will also 'get people outdoors and improve their mental and physical health'. And Roman coins and wild orchids can all be sold to improve the economy.