Biodiversity Net Gain Credits are a new way to measure milestones towards becoming ‘nature positive’. Essentially they are like carbon credits – a way of offsetting biodiversity losses by investing in nature elsewhere. There is a real race to develop the best method for calculating these credits to drive private investment and public spending into nature restoration. Read more :

In England, it is now mandatory for developers to offset biodiversity loss and deliver 10% net gain on development sites. This is a huge step in the right direction. The new requirement will be implemented by local planning authorities through a condition within the planning permission.

Valuing Biodiversity: Understanding the Role of Biodiversity Net Gain Credits

Developers need to demonstrate the gains they will make on their site and if this is not possible, they can ‘offset’ by purchasing biodiversity credits from a habitat bank. Biodiversity credits are based on a statutory biodiversity metric from Natural England. This metric uses features such as area, distinctiveness, condition, strategic significance and impact of the development to calculate the number of ‘biodiversity units‘ required on-site and off-site.

Biodiversity credits can be purchased from a range of sources, including other landowners and environmental trusts. As such, there is a risk that these benefits could be ‘double counted’ and therefore it will be crucial to ensure that the best quality habitat is used and that the credits are sourced from trusted providers.

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