Internationally there is a movement towards a Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services based approach to impact assessments on biodiversity, a key part of this is to move towards the goal of biodiversity net gain for all schemes in the UK as reflected in the 2018 NPPF.
In support of this the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, has launched a consultation that proposes a mandatory requirement for all developers, nationwide to demonstrate they are achieving biodiversity net gain.
The use of the metrics to numerically demonstrate the impact that schemes will have on biodiversity will have a significant impact on the role ecologists play at all stages of scheme design and implementation. Used correctly Biodiversity Offsetting can highlight areas which should be avoided and those which have the potential to be developed with minimal impact. Taking these factors into account at an early stage can help reduce costs through increased certainty of obligations, reduce the amount of negotiation with LPA’s and help deliver environmentally beneficial developments
Here at FPCR, Senior Ecologist Sam Arthur, has been heavily involved in the development of Biodiversity Offsetting since the pilot in 2012. In recognition of this he now holds a position on the Natural England Metric Sounding Board. As part of Sam’s role within this group he is working closely with Natural England to develop a tool for applying the principles of the metric.
This approach aims to measurably enhance habitats for wildlife in line with the recommendations of the Lawton Review, the DEFRA 25 Year plan and the Biodiversity 2020 Report.
How can FPCR help you?
- Carry out all aspects of Biodiversity Impact Assessment
- Carry out pre-purchase assessments to give insight into the developable area that will allow the delivery of net gain
- Design landscape schemes to maximise biodiversity gain
- Assess impact assessments carried out by 3rd parties
- We deliver seminars to clients informing on offsetting and how to avoid costly complications
- We can provide high level advice on how to procced with assessments
- Liaise with LPA ecologist to agree principles
We are currently working with land owners to create biodiversity unit banks for sale to developers