Phil Allen on Northern Ireland’s priceless natural assets, Paul Townsend on Pope Francis’s plea for the environment, and Philip Bisatt on the absence of trees from British town planning

Re your editorial on the Great Barrier Reef and “the values that money can’t measure” (29 June), Dieter Helm’s “natural capital” approach recognises that some assets are literally priceless and must be maintained.

As an example, the drainage path of the river Bann is being degraded at a great and almost irreversible rate. Lough Neagh, which is in its course, has been losing its characteristic fenland vegetation through nitrification from slurry runoff. The once vast flocks of overwintering wildfowl are long gone.

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