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Natural capital

Natural capital is the term used for environmental assets such as geology, soil, air, water and all living things. It aims to get us to think about our environment in a similar way to financial capital - we need to maintain this capital for our planet's natural systems ('ecosystems') to continue to function and support human life.

The wide range of services that humans derive from natural capital, often called ecosystem services, make continued human life possible but are often taken for granted, overlooked or undervalued.

Work has been done to put a monetary value on natural capital and ecosystem services, but it is not always possible or even appropriate to do this.

This summary, "More Than meets the Eye", aims to raise awareness of the hidden value of the varied landscapes and habitats of the Norfolk Coast, and the range of vital services they provide to people.


The summary here is based on work by a student in 2011. It does not claim to provide a comprehensive picture of ecosystem services in the Norfolk Coast, but we hope it helps people to appreciate more deeply the value of this special place.

Illustration for Natural capital

Below is a series of maps of the Norfolk Coast area of outstanding natural beauty showing the distribution of the habitats covered in the report, produced by the Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service at Norfolk County Council.