The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) defines Biodiversity Net Gain as:
“An approach to development that leaves biodiversity in a better state than before.”
To achieve biodiversity net gain, a project must incorporate a measurable increase in natural habitat over and above what is lost.
The new Environment Bill is now UK law, and developers need to aim to achieve a minimum of 10% net gain across their site. They will be required to prove biodiversity net gain in their developments to the local planning authority. Some local authorities are asking for more than legally required 10% net gain.
Despite updates to current policy requirements, biodiversity is demonstrably declining in the UK. The National Biodiversity Network’s State of Nature 2019 report outlines a 13% decrease in the abundance of species between 1970 and 2016.
In order to tackle this decline, developments should always try and follow this mitigation hierarchy:
By considering biodiversity net gain as early as possible in the design process you can reduce the risk of completing a scheme with a net loss. Creating a development with a net loss is not only a risk on the local biodiversity, but it could result in substantial offset costs.
At ADAS, we have a diverse team of biodiversity net gain experts that will support your development along the entire process, which would include:
Under the new law, any habitats created for biodiversity net gain will need to be protected and managed to reach the agreed output for a minimum of 30 years. This will need to be proven to the local authorities.
Our team of experts will produce a management plan that will provide all the information and data needed to help achieve a successful programme.
The RSK Habitat Management team can help you with the implementation and long-term management to ensure successful on-site habitat creation and management.