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This review of scientific literature has shown that semi-natural floodplain habitats are a vitally important component of the UK’s natural capital. They provide a wider range of goods and services than intensive arable/ horticultural crops. The dearth of such habitats in functioning floodplains reduces our resilience to floods and drought, reduces the abundance of pollinating insects and natural pest control agents, and reduces the potential for carbon sequestration and water quality improvements. Floodplains occupy only 5% of land area in the UK, yet targeted investment here would yield massive savings and gains for society as a whole.

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