Upland areas offer sites for collecting drinking water, flood prevention and renewable energy generation (wind and water power). They are used for grazing livestock and food production and provide important habitats for biodiversity and carbon storage. They can offer inspiring landscapes and viewpoints, tranquillity and a range of recreational opportunities such as hiking, climbing, caving and mountain biking.

Tell us what you thinkView Local Example: Waun Fignen Felen Bog Restoration

Mines and quarries provide the raw materials for construction, manufacturing products and energy generation. When these operations come to an end, restoration projects can provide new habitats for wildlife and land for recreation or development.

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Woodlands provide raw materials for building, manufacturing and energy generation. They are also a great resource for recreation and offer an outdoor classroom for learning, support biodiversity and store carbon. Trees and other vegetation can also protect from soil erosion, stabilise slopes and help to prevent flooding by absorbing rain water.

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Country Parks support tourism and enable us to enjoy and appreciate the natural, historic and cultural heritage of an area. Nature reserves and other designated sites can be managed to protect biodiversity, geology, archaeology, landscapes and heritage whilst enabling us to enjoy and learn about these features.

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Trees in urban areas can moderate temperature, provide shade and shelter, increase biodiversity and promote health and well being. Planting trees near roads and industrial areas can improve air quality and dampen noise pollution.

Tell us what you thinkView Local Example: Lower Swansea Valley Project

Green spaces and parks in urban areas can improve health and quality of life. They also support biodiversity by improving the connection between areas of countryside.

Tell us what you thinkView Local Example: Rosehill Quarry Community Park

Ponds and wetland areas help regulate the flow of water, reducing flood risk and supporting wildlife. Sustainable urban drainage systems can improve water quality and reduce the pressure on sewers and the pollution caused by overflows.

Tell us what you thinkView Local Example: Swansea Vale Flood Defence Scheme

Rivers are important wildlife corridors which also offer lots of opportunities for recreation such as fishing, walking, kayaking and rowing.

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Food production whether on farms, allotments or community growing sites relies on the availability of fresh water, fertile soil and pollinating wildlife.

Tell us what you thinkView Local Example: Vetch Community Garden

The sea plays a key role in climate regulation, provides an important source of food and other products, and can be used as a source of renewable energy (tidal, wind and wave power). It offers many opportunities for leisure activities and is also used for travel and transportation. The sea also supports a wealth of marine biodiversity.

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Sand dunes and beaches can provide protection from flooding and damage to the coastline. They offer a range of recreational opportunities but are also important habitats for wildlife.

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Renewable energy can be harnessed from the wind, sun, rivers, waves, tides, biomass and the ground to reduce the risks associated with burning fossil fuels such as pollution and climate change.

Tell us what you thinkView Local Example: SA1 Community Wind Turbine and Eastside Energy Scheme

Waste and pollution - including human waste - can be stored, managed and treated with the help of natural systems and processes. Landfill sites and industrial sites can be restored after use to provide space for housing, woodland, parkland or even food production.

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Biodiversity (the variety of life) is important for food production, supporting pollination and resilience against disease and pests. It also offers a great source of pleasure and learning.

Tell us what you thinkView Local Example: Blackpill SSSI and Wildlife Centre

What to do

Hover over the image to explore benefits we get from the natural environment. Click for more information, to tell us what you think or to view a local example.