Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is an approach to development, and/or land management, that aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than it was beforehand.
BNG delivers measurable improvements for biodiversity by creating or enhancing habitats in association with development. This can be achieved on-site, off-site or through a combination of both measures.
Under the Environment Act 2021, all planning permissions granted in England (with a few exemptions) will have to deliver at least 10% biodiversity net gain from an as yet unconfirmed date, expected to be in November 2023. BNG will be measured using Defra’s biodiversity metric and habitats will need to be secured for at least 30 years. This sits alongside, a strengthened legal duty for public bodies to conserve and enhance biodiversity, new biodiversity reporting requirements for local authorities, and mandatory spatial strategies for nature through Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS).
BNG mandates the delivery of net gain in the context of development, and makes provision for long-term conservation covenants aimed to support LNRS and the restoration of functional ecological networks at a landscape-scale.
It requires the application of the metric (currently Defra 4.0) to acquire pre-development baseline data necessary to determine the level of effort required to achieve net gain.
Collectively, our team is able to support with UK Habitat surveys, Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, Phase 1, tree surveys (BS5837), species-specific surveys, Defra Metric 4.0 calculation, BNG reporting, Natural England licence applications, Biodiversity enhancement strategies, habitat creation, management and restoration.
We are enthusiastic about this new provision, which if suitably delivered may lead to the creation of more resilient, attractive and diverse landscapes in the context of development for the benefit of people and the environment.
How can Ecology Resources help?
At Ecology Resources we have the expertise to deliver all aspects of this new approach. We can advise on all BNG matters, for example how you can tweak your project design to ensure a biodiversity net gain is achieved. To discuss further, feel free to ring us during office hours or email us at anytime.