Row of cows at farm in Shropshire

Our expert opinion: what do you need to know about Biodiversity Net Gain?

25/09/23Our expert opinion: what do you need to know about Biodiversity Net Gain?

Ed Merriman, Director at Forge Property Consultants, says:

The Government initiative of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) will come into operation in England from November 2023. It was introduced to protect and enhance biodiversity. Its aim is to offset any environmental damage caused by a development scheme with the replacement of displaced natural habitats.

As part of any Planning application, developers will need to demonstrate a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain resulting from their development. This will be measured pre-development in terms of existing and proposed biodiversity. Initially, biodiversity enhancement is to be undertaken on-site, but if that is not possible then it should be implemented off-site. As a last resort, the developer pays compensation to the Government for loss of biodiversity. Under the second option, developers will need to buy biodiversity credits off local landowners and farmers so that their land can be utilised for biodiversity enhancement. This will provide new financial opportunities and income streams for farmers and landowners. Therefore, this is a new form of diversification and represents an opportunity to make use of land which may be unproductive and of limited use. It is an emerging market; farmers and landowners need to be able to capitalise upon opportunities when they arise. Applications for registering land for BNG enhancement open in November 2023.

If you are interested in finding out more about BNG, and how to register your land, then please contact one of our experts at Forge today on


This article first appeared in The Farmer in September 2023: Ask the Expert

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