Biodiversity BNG Assessment



Download our information sheet here for all you need to know and how we can help


Biodiversity and many of our wild animals and plants are in big trouble, but we can all do something about it and are here to help. Improving biological diversity and enriching wild fauna and flora communities by increasing greenspace ecological quality helps fight climate change, too.

You must show how your project will ensure no biodiversity loss and demonstrate Biodiversity Net Gain. We have the expertise to help you ensure your submission meets the local authorities, British Standards and best practice biodiversity net gain requirements, keeping you in compliance with all ecological regulations when seeking planning permission for your proposal. We have worked on many nationally significant infrastructure projects, including national telecommunications infrastructure and major hospital and academy redevelopments, so we can accommodate any development site you may have.

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Every site is different, but our work will include a careful site examination, an assessment of the species, habitats, and communities present, and the ecosystem characteristics. This will enable us to determine the current biodiversity status in detail according to the regulations. We will use the latest Statutory Biodiversity Metric accounting tool to calculate Biodiversity Net Gain - determining ecological and environmental landscaping changes and improvements that can be delivered to the existing habitat. We offer independent science-based commentary and recommendations, which we can implement to ensure you receive the best advice on how to base reliable decisions and demonstrate regulatory and best practice compliance and due diligence.

Why is it required?

Our planet is in alarmingly serious trouble because of human over-exploitation of resources, the use of fossil fuels, excessive carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gas emissions, over-intensive agriculture, pollution and habitat destruction. We have very little time to correct this: reversing biodiversity loss and making Biodiversity Net Gain assessments mandatory will make a difference in saving species from extinction, curbing adverse climate change, and improving our environmental quality. National and local planning authorities have adopted much stricter policies and statutes for biodiversity protection, achieving biodiversity net gain and habitat creation. Almost all development planning applications cannot proceed unless the local planning authority is satisfied that the biodiversity standards have been met and will be maintained and sustained by the applicants and their successors. Formal Conditions to this effect are now inserted in planning consents and permissions for land-use change.


A baseline survey of the site and, where appropriate, its surroundings is initially carried out to assess and draft a map of the distinct habitat areas across the site during pre-development. This process is generally carried out alongside the broader Preliminary Ecological Appraisal of the site. The condition for each individual habitat area and feature on-site is then assessed based on how many habitat-specific criteria that area meets. This habitat data is then converted into a numerical score of ‘biodiversity units’.

A similar assessment is carried out for expected post-development habitats and to what condition target they are to be maintained as for a minimum 30-year timescale. A post-development score is calculated and compared with the pre-development baseline score, with the difference between the two serving as the final Biodiversity Net Gain score.

Suppose a proposed site cannot meet positive Biodiversity Net Gain targets on-site. In that case, additional off-site biodiversity units may be added to post-development data using off-site compensation or statutory biodiversity credits. While biodiversity units from on-site enhancements are generally given more weight than off-site units, the latter can help cover the difference between the expected on-site Biodiversity Net Gain score and the targets the Local Planning Authorities set, particularly on sites with limited space for ecological enhancements.

If planning is granted, a Biodiversity Gain Plan must be submitted before projects begin. This document will outline all major ecological enhancements and habitats to be developed in the proposal, the long-term management objectives, and their maintenance and monitoring schedules. Should your site fall within an area with a published Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS), this strategy should be used within the overall assessment and landscape design.

A full, detailed summary of this process is available at the following link


Yes. Adequate investigations can usually be undertaken between April and October if only one window is available in the project programme, but ideally, visits should be made through the seasons. A single site inspection and assessment may lead to a recommendation for further visits if the data collected are insufficient for an adequately reliable report. We are always happy to discuss options to help you decide in the project's circumstances.

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What will it cost?

Survey costs for Biodiversity Net Gain assessments can vary enormously. It’s essential that you receive the right level of Biodiversity Net Gain guidance and information. A skilled ecologist can be a tremendous asset and help you achieve a successful planning outcome.

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