Earlier this month, Defra and Natural England published the long-awaited, updated, Biodiversity Metric 3.0, along with some other tools useful for making biodiversity net gain (BNG) a success.
The BNG metric is the main tool to measure whether net gain has been delivered on-site. It is used to:
- assess the biodiversity unit value of an area of land
- demonstrate biodiversity net gains or losses in a consistent way
- measure and account for direct impacts on biodiversity
- compare proposals for a site – such as creating or enhancing habitat on-site or off-site
The Small Sites Metric (SSM), a beta version designed to simplify the process of calculating biodiversity net gain on smaller development sites, was also published.
Lastly, the Environmental Benefits from Nature Tool (EBNT) was launched to give developers a way of exploring the benefits habitats bring to people, such as improvements to water quality, flood management services and carbon storage. This is currently the primary method of delivering quantifiable “Environmental Net Gain”.
As a core policy priority, we’re looking at BNG across the LI. Our online CPD conference ‘Planning Reforms – Living with Beauty. Will the planning reforms help or hinder Landscape Practice?’, running this September, includes several BNG sessions.
We’re also working with CIEEM to develop joint training on biodiversity net gain for landscape practitioners and ecologists. Keep an eye on Vista for updates as details will be published later this year.
As we continue our work on BNG, we are seeking members with an expertise in this area (quantifying ecosystem services, and/or biodiversity, ecology, habitat creation more widely) to join an advisory group on biodiversity net gain.
If you are interested in being involved, please send an email with a brief description of your experience in this area to email@example.com by the 22nd August.