Natural England yesterday launched Biodiversity Metric 3.0 to help developments achieve biodiversity net gain, as required under the Environment Bill. The new Biodiversity Metric 3.0 will provide a way of measuring and accounting for nature losses and gains resulting from development or changes in land management.
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 will become the industry standard biodiversity metric for all on-land and intertidal development types in England, becoming a requirement for ecological consultants, developers, local planning authorities, land owners and more through the landmark Environment Bill.
This version differs from the 2018 version (Biodiversity Metric 2.0), with changes in how woodland is assessed in terms of distinctiveness and to recognise the role of urban trees. The ecological connectivity tool has also been removed amongst other changes outlined in a summary document.
The Environmental Benefits from Nature Tool – previously known as the ‘eco-metric’, was also launched by Natural England. This tool is designed to allow developers to explore “the benefits habitats bring to people, such as improvements to water quality, flood management services and carbon storage”.
Finally, a beta version of the Small Sites Metric was launched, which is designed to simplify the process of calculating biodiversity net gain on smaller development sites.
Natural England chair Tony Juniper said:
Investing in Nature’s recovery is a vital national priority. These innovative new tools will help advance that ambition via the development planning process, ensuring we leave the natural environment – both terrestrial and marine – in a measurably better state than it was before…
CIEEM will be delivering training on the Biodiversity Metric 3.0 in the autumn. If you are interested in attending this, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to the expression of interest list to then notify you once the course dates have been released.