A blueprint for investing in natural capital alongside development to improve the environment, economy and social wellbeing has been devised by the Humber Nature Partnership.
The vision, published in June, calls on businesses and planners to work together to help “rebuild the image of the Humber as a 21st century landscape [to] provide the best environmental settings and the right skills and services to attract high quality investment”.
The Humber estuary is important for wildlife and is designated as a special area of conservation (SAC), special protection area (SPA), a Ramsar site and a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).
The plan sets out how investing in this natural capitalalongside economic development can reduce flood risk, protect shipping lanes, improve human health, drive up property values, increase nature tourism and help store carbon.
Spanning the entire estuary, it includes habitat connection and creation, green infrastructure, new and restored wetlands, new public green spaces, managed realignment, major flood prevention and water storage schemes to be used for irrigation, and the development of eco-tourism.
The nature partnership says working alongside the local enterprise partnership it can “maximise the economic potential of the Humber’s unique natural assets through concerted effort and a partnership approach to sustainable development”.
Darren Clarke, Humber Nature Partnership manager, said: “We need to invest directly in our natural capitalto maximise the value of these often overlooked resources for the economic prosperity of the region so that everyone benefits.”