The protection zones are included in the Marine and Coastal Access Bill, currently going through parliament. The marine conservation zone project established by DEFRA, Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee is working to identify and recommend the concept to government.
The cost savings outlined in Natural England's report come through improved environmental practices. These include investment in farming to cut emissions, which could save £180 million a year. Improved management of lowland peat soils could tackle an annual loss of carbon worth £150 million.
Natural England chief executive Helen Phillips said: "Ecological solutions are highly efficient and cost-effective means of tackling environmental, social and economic problems."
No Charge? Valuing the Natural Environment is available at PlanningResource.co.uk/doc