Biodiversity Net Gain

At Ascerta we are uniquely positioned to assist developers with their Biodiversity Net Gain requirements as we offer a comprehensive range of expertise, combining landscape architects, arboriculturalists, and ecologists within a single company. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that Ascerta can provide developers with the ideal support and guidance to navigate the complexities of biodiversity net gain effectively.

Biodiversity refers to the variety of plant and animal life in the world or within a specific habitat, which is considered important and desirable. Over the past 50 years, there has been a decline in biodiversity despite efforts to prevent habitat and species loss.

Previous policies focusing on 'no net loss' of biodiversity have been deemed ineffective. As a result, the Government is currently working on mandating a policy within The Environment Bill that will require a 10% net gain in biodiversity from certain developments.

This shift has put increasing pressure on developers to create sites that contribute positively to biodiversity net gain. While the precise requirements for achieving net gain are still being finalised, it is evident that this will have significant planning and cost implications across the development community.

Assessing the biodiversity value of a site involves conducting a detailed survey to identify the existing flora and fauna within the area. This survey must delve deeper than traditional 'Phase One' surveys, providing a more comprehensive understanding.

Determining whether a proposed development results in a loss is neutral, or achieves net gain in biodiversity requires a complex calculation using a pre-approved matrix. This calculation is typically performed by experienced and appropriately trained ecologists, considering the specific site and proposed development.

It is important to recognise that evaluating and implementing biodiversity net gain cannot be done hastily or without a thorough understanding of the site and its development plans.

As a developer, it is crucial to ensure that your projects yield a suitable return on investment. You need to understand the expected outcomes in terms of biodiversity net gain. That's where Ascerta can accompany and assist you at every step of the process.

When does BNG need to be considered?
  • Site selection and acquisition stage of a project
  • At all stages of the development
  • Post development

The 10 Principles of BNG

  • 1: Apply the mitigation hierarchy
  • 2: Avoid losing biodiversity that cannot be offset elsewhere
  • 3: Be inclusive and equitable
  • 4: Address risk
  • 5: Make a measurable net gain contribution
  • 6: Achieve best outcomes for biodiversity
  • 7: Be additional
  • 8: Create a Net Gain legacy
  • 9: Optimise sustainability
  • 10: Be transparent
Get in touch

For more information on Biodiversity Net Gain or to discuss a specific project, contact our office on
0845 463 4404.

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Photos featured are the work of our subsidiary company Philip Cave Associates