Your mini basket

There are no products in your basket.


The introduction of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) in the UK marks a significant step towards integrating biodiversity improvements with development projects. From January 2024, developers in England are mandated to deliver a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain on new housing, industrial, or commercial developments. This requirement, embedded in the Environment Act, aims to ensure that development projects contribute positively to the local environment by creating new habitats and green spaces​​. The BNG policy is designed to help meet the country’s goal of halting the decline in species abundance by 2030, promoting more beautiful communities while delivering new homes​​.

To support the implementation of BNG, the government has developed a suite of tools and guidance, including a statutory biodiversity metric for calculating the correct biodiversity gain, a biodiversity gain plan template, and a habitat management and monitoring plan template​​. The Biodiversity Gain Site Register, managed by Natural England, serves as a publicly accessible source of information about off-site gains across England, facilitating connections between landowners participating in off-site BNG, developers looking for habitat enhancements, and local planning authorities​​.

Despite the promising framework, the implementation of BNG presents challenges. There’s a pressing need for policy and legislative alignment across government departments to ensure the success of net gain provisions. Additionally, the sector requires competent professionals, including ecologists, surveyors, planners, and landscape architects, to design and implement BNG effectively. There are concerns about skills gaps and the need for more capacity within local authorities to manage the additional workload that BNG brings​​.

To achieve the 10% net gain, developers can incorporate on-site green infrastructure, such as green roofs, green walls, and rain gardens, which can provide significant biodiversity benefits. Using native wildflowers on green roofs, for instance, can enhance local biodiversity and contribute to meeting the BNG requirements. However, the reliance on biodiversity credits, which allow developers to finance off-site conservation activities as a way to meet their BNG obligations, has sparked debate. Critics argue that this approach may undermine the spirit of the BNG legislation by allowing developers to offset their environmental impact rather than integrating biodiversity improvements directly into their projects​​​​.

For urban greeners and developers looking to contribute positively to biodiversity and meet the BNG requirements, focusing on creating high-quality, biodiverse habitats within development sites is crucial. This includes prioritising on-site enhancements and being cautious about the over-reliance on biodiversity credits. It’s about finding a balance that ensures new developments not only meet legal requirements but also contribute genuinely to the enhancement of local biodiversity and the wider ecological network​​​​​​.

As BNG becomes an integral part of the planning and development process, it’s essential for all stakeholders, including developers, local authorities, ecologists, and urban greeners, to work collaboratively. This collaborative approach can help navigate the complexities of implementing BNG, ensuring developments are both sustainable and conducive to biodiversity enhancement​

Share this article