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01 March 2023
In January 2023, all ECOSA core staff underwent a three-day training course on the latest version of the Biodiversity Metric. The Biodiversity Metric (Version 3.1) is the latest tool to be published by Natural England, to enable ecologists to perform Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) Assessments. This allows ecologists to quantify the impacts of developments in order to inform the design of the scheme to benefit wildlife and to provide habitat creation and enhancement which is proportionate to the impacts and to quantify the delivery of biodiversity net gain. The course covered information for both the BNG beginners to the expert dab-hands within the ECOSA team, and included how to calculate the baseline of a development site, how to calculate the direct impacts on habitats from a development, and how to use the metric to support the design of Biodiversity Net Gain.
The Environment Act 2021 will mandate that a 10% net gain for biodiversity must be achieved for new developments coming into force from November 2023. Together with the biodiversity metric tool, this will create new opportunities for habitat and wildlife, by:
- Applying multiplier to habitats which offer high ecological value;
- In-built "trading rules" to ensure that habitats can only be offset with the similar habitats or those of a greater biodiversity value;
- Applying multipliers which consider the length of time required for new offsetting habitats to establish; and
- Quantifying separate 10% net gains for biodiversity in relation to habitats, hedgerows and rivers.
If you need ecological advice in relation to Biodiversity Net Gain, or require ecological survey work to promote biodiversity within your upcoming development, the ECOSA team is here to help. Get in touch on 02380 261065 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.