Biodiversity Net Gain

We advise our clients on the planning and development requirements with respect to Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and we undertake assessments using the Defra Biodiversity Metric. This process assesses the changes in biodiversity values resulting from development and land management activities.

Our multi-disciplinary approach combining our skills landscape architecture and ecology enable us to inform development proposals to maximise opportunities for BNG.

Putting environmental values and quality at the heart of what we do

  • Our reputation for providing environmentally responsible solutions and deliverable biodiversity enhancements has been established over a period of more than 35 years.

    We are a registered practice with Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and the Landscape Institute.

  • The quality of our work is also recognised by our clients who see us as an integral part of their project planning and design teams.

    We seek to embed mitigation into scheme designs, working to minimise impacts and provide net gains for biodiversity, whilst appreciating commercial needs.

Our skills deliver success

The Biodiversity Net Gain process requires appropriate ecological baseline information with the appraisal undertaken by an experienced professional.

Our team is experienced at undertaking Biodiversity Net Gain calculations. The DEFRA offsetting calculator has been used for Local Planning Authorities that have adopted the approach.

We ensure that we highlight the net gain consideration early within the process. By doing so, any potential cost implications and timing constraints can be clearly understood.

We work proactively with design teams and statutory consultees. Our team provides pragmatic advice to clients as early as possible in the process to minimise the risk of delays and to ensure that projects meet the net gain principle.

We can test options and liaise with third parties where necessary, should off-site compensation measures be required

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We are here to help you

Using our extensive skills and experience, we anticipate the issues that may arise and work with you and your team to proactively resolve these.

We can support you at all stages of the Biodiversity Net Gain process:

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal

We are experienced in carrying out the first stage of a site assessment. This is known as a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA). The survey involves a desk-based study and a site visit to undertake an Extended Phase I Habitat Survey. A PEA will identify the potential ecological constraints and opportunities on a site. We can then advise you of any ecological implications for your proposal and recommend appropriate mitigation.

We can tailor the output of the PEA to your needs. PEA are generally not considered appropriate for a planning submission. They are, however, often used to inform the initial masterplanning discussions with the design team. In addition, they can be undertaken as a pre-acquisition survey or to collate the relevant data for a BREEAM assessment.

A PEA is often supplemented with further surveys, such as those for protected species. These will inform an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA), either as a standalone report or as a chapter of an ES.

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Ecological surveys

We are experienced in preparing chapters on Ecology and Biodiversity as part of an Environmental Statement. We work in accordance with CIEEM guidelines and the IEMA EIA Quality Mark standard. Our ecologists benefit from working alongside colleagues with extensive experience of Environmental Impact Assessment.

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We have extensive experience of working on developments with the potential to affect internationally designated sites collectively known as Natura 2000 sites.  The National Planning Policy Framework also refers to these as ‘habitats sites’. The sites include Special Protection Areas (SPA), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Ramsar sites.

We can provide you with early advice and produce HRA screening and Appropriate Assessment reports. These will ensure that the competent authority, often the Local Planning Authority, has sufficient information to inform their decision.

We have experience with working on proposals that relate to recreational pressure, noise and visual disturbance, habitat loss and air quality effects on the qualifying features of habitats sites.

HRA and EcIA are both required when a plan or project has a likely significant effect on habitats sites.

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Green Infrastructure

We can work with you to identify existing and potential green and blue infrastructure assets which have the capacity to enhance the character, amenity and biodiversity value of your site as well as delivering essential cost-effective infrastructure. We can provide strategies to either enhance existing, or establish new, green infrastructure and nature recovery networks as part of high-quality proposals that deliver added value to projects.

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Landscape and Urban Design

Our talented and award-winning team of landscape designers understand how to unlock the potential for any site. We will generate a brief with you that will ensure the project design meets the needs of the project and will create enriching environments which people will really appreciate.

We relish finding solutions to challenging situations and build on our experience with each new commission. Our understanding and appreciation of external context factors and the broader remit of our professional basis enables us to really add value to your project team. Working collaboratively with other disciplines and co-consultants, our wide range of sector exposure enables best practice from across a range of settings to benefit your project.

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Environmental Management Plans

We can work with you and provide input to Construction Environmental Management Plans, Landscape and Ecological Management Plans and other such plans that may be required for your project.

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Get in touch

If you need assistance with any aspect of an Ecological Impact Assessment, please call us on 01225 876990 or complete the contact form.

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