Natural England has published Biodiversity Metric 3.1 which it says will be recommended to the secretary of state to form the basis of the statutory biodiversity metric used to underpin future mandatory biodiversity net gain as set out in the Environment Act 2021.
The metric is published alongside a summary of changes which states it represents a relatively small-scale change from version 3.0 which “is unlikely to have a significant impact on the range of overall outputs generated“, except for a small number of habitats.
Changes include clarification of guidance and alterations to condition criteria, e.g. for grasslands.
Before the metric is published for mandatory application there will be a government consultation by Defra, expected later this year.
Natural England continues to welcome technical feedback on this updated metric 3.1.