Britain's natural resources are worth nearly £1 TRILLION

Accountants calculate Britain’s trees, mountains, rivers and natural resources are worth nearly £1 TRILLION

  • More than 70 per cent of land in Britain is being used for agriculture, report finds
  • Shade off trees and water ‘saves us £248million by cutting air conditioning cost’
  • Study says forest land in Britain removed 18million tonnes of carbon from the air

To nature lovers, they are priceless. But the value of the country’s trees, mountains, rivers and natural resources has officially been estimated at £951billion.

The Office for National Statistics admitted its methodology was ‘experimental’, saying the calculation was based on the ‘services’ that natural features provide to people.

For example, it calculated that green spaces increase house prices and allow recreation, while trees and ponds provide natural cooling and woodland reduces noise pollution. 

The report revealed that 72 per cent of the country’s land was used for agriculture, emitting 11.4million tonnes of CO2, mainly from the use of fertiliser, pesticides and vehicles to grow and harvest crops. The Lake District is pictured above

All of these ‘services’ would cost money if nature did not provide them. 

In a report detailing its calculations, the ONS said the cooling shade of trees and water saved the UK £248million by lowering air conditioning costs on hot days.

It also helped ‘maintain productivity’ that would otherwise have been hit as people and machinery overheated.

In 2017, the removal of air pollution by vegetation in the UK equated to a saving of £1.3billion in health costs. 

Forest land removed 18million tonnes of carbon from the air, equating to a value of almost £1.2billion a year and an asset valuation of nearly £54billion, the report said.

Around 199,000 tonnes of minerals such as limestone, gravel, sand, chalk and slate rock were dug up in 2017, down from 287,000 tonnes in 1997. Crummock Water in the Lake District is pictured above

It revealed that 72 per cent of the country’s land was used for agriculture, emitting 11.4million tonnes of CO2, mainly from the use of fertiliser, pesticides and vehicles to grow and harvest crops.

The report also showed the amount of water taken from natural sources in the country increased from 6,443million cubic metres in 2014 to 6,697million in 2017, worth £2.54billion. 

The amount of water being taken in England was rising, while in Scotland and Wales it was falling.

The ONS said ‘current levels of water abstraction are unsustainable in certain regions’ but population growth in England and climate change will push it up.

Around 199,000 tonnes of minerals such as limestone, gravel, sand, chalk and slate rock were dug up in 2017, down from 287,000 tonnes in 1997.

The decrease reflects a decline in housebuilding since 1997, the report said, but noted it has started to pick up.

The Office for National Statistics admitted its methodology was ‘experimental’, saying the calculation was based on the ‘services’ that natural features provide to people. The Hoe in Plymouth, Devon is pictured above

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