I’M afraid Dr Mike Heyworth (Letters, September 4, “We’ve lost too many historic buildings in York”) is incorrect to state that “England’s ‘green and pleasant land’ ... can be restored and recreated”, as once it has been built on it cannot be recreated.

Natural grassland worldwide has first been taken over by agriculture, then buildings and the biodiversity that it supported has gone.

Attempts can be made to restore lost green habitats but they are not always successful for a variety of reasons, and even if successful are probably a pale copy of what once was there originally.

To date we have lost over 97 per cent of our wildflower-rich grasslands leading to the mass decline in the species they supported.

While I support his championing of York’s built heritage, which is and was probably more sympathetic to the green environment, let us not promote one at the cost of the other.

Dr Mick Phythian, York Natural Environment Trust, Stockton-on-the-Forest, York