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Biodiversity Net Gain - does it matter for gardens?

A bee taking nectar from a geranium flower

Biodiversity Net Gain or now shortened to BNG, is a government regulation that came into effect on 12th Feb 2024. Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is a way of creating and improving natural habitats. BNG makes sure development has a measurably positive impact (‘net gain’) on biodiversity, compared to what was there before development. (government site)

BNG applies to all land and property developers from small sites from 2nd April 2024, any developments from 12Feb 2024 and large infrastructure project (from Nov 2025) and they must deliver a BNG of 10%.

It is essentially a MOT for Habitat, or a checklist that new builds need to have a habitat that promotes the UK Habitat type that is in the surrounding area of 10%.

They can do it on three ways,

1.       achieve on their site

2.       through a mix of onsite and off site

3.       If that is not possible, they can buy statutory biodiversity credits from the government but that is a last resort. The government will use this revenue to invest in habitat creation.

And finally, maintain the habitats for a minimum of 30 years.

The Cambridgeshire area has fens, wildflower meadows, ancient woodlands and chalk grasslands. If you would like to visit some then go see Trumpington Meadows, Brampton Wood - the second largest ancient wood at over 900-year-old, The Great Fen – the largest restoration project of its kind in Europe and Cambridgeshire Chalk - a large, interconnected area of chalk grassland on the south-east edge of Cambridge.

Who can help the developer?

Garden dsigners are capable of developing a planting plan to reflect the local the Cambridgeshire habitat which can improve the biodiversity of gardens. The local council have a biodiversity checklist which will also help.  See below

If you wish to know more about how you can improve your garden for wildlife then check out our three part blog series


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