“The Government has published the UK’s first National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) today, a ground breaking report which attempts to put a cash price on the environmental services provided by nature – but how can you put a monetary value on our relationship with nature? Services like pollination by insects, water and air purification by soils and plants, the flood alleviation provided by woods and marshes upstream of towns and cities, and even the value of living close to a green space in terms of savings to the NHS – a service the Government’s bean counters put at £300 per person per year.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13627055
As these are being introduced with the intention of them being used by planning authorities, the cynic in me says that if you establish a price on something then business and/or the government could use this in a cost-benefit analysis. We could find green areas that are not protected being bought up at 5 or 10 times their ‘value’ by large companies, using the NEA values whilst doing so. Typical of a Conservative government, first they tried to sell off the national woodlands, now they are attacking small green spaces. Does the government think we are so green?