TREES and plants in Worcestershire are helping the NHS to save millions of pounds by removing air pollution.

A study for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that in 2015 the NHS avoided £11.6 million in health costs thanks to air quality improvements by natural vegetation.

That's £20.04 for every resident.

Nationally, the ONS estimates there were 7,100 fewer lung and heart-related hospital admissions, 27,000 fewer life years lost and 1,900 fewer premature deaths thanks to the service provided by nature.

The saving for the whole of the UK was £1 billion.

Woodlands, grasslands and shrubs in Worcestershire absorbed 10.6 tonnes of air pollutants - about 61 kg of contaminants per hectare.

In Worcestershire, ozone was the pollutant most absorbed by plants, making up about 79 per cent of the total.