Biodiversity Net Gain Credits

Biodiversity Net Gain Credits are a new way of driving development into nature restoration. They are measurable units that can be bought by developers to offset biodiversity loss and to demonstrate milestones towards becoming a ‘nature positive’ company. These are essentially the equivalent of carbon credits in biodiversity, but with more complex environmental features and requirements. This link:

In England, BNG will be a requirement on all developments from November 2021 and developers will need to achieve a minimum 10% biodiversity increase, either on site or off-site (or as a last resort buy statutory credits). In addition to this increase in biodiversity, habitats created and enhanced for BNG must be safeguarded in place for 30 years through planning obligations, covenants etc.

Unlocking Conservation Potential: Harnessing Biodiversity Net Gain Credits

Creating and enhancing new habitats is one of the most effective ways of achieving biodiversity net gain and there are a range of on site mitigation measures that can contribute towards a net gain – such as planting trees and hedgerows, creating or restoring ponds, meadows, scrubland and grassland and riparian restoration. It is important that these are accounted for separately in the biodiversity net gain metric and any reporting, to ensure transparency and a clear audit trail e.g. through a separate accounting line on the biodiversity unit uplift uplift.

It is also possible that offsite projects, such as local habitat banks on LPA or third party land, could provide an uplift of biodiversity units – providing they meet any other requirements set out in the BNG guidance e.g. demonstrating the underlying uplift through a scientifically robust approach and complying with the mitigation hierarchy, habitat protection, agreement type/duration etc).