Getting net gain ready

As part of preparations for the introduction of the new Environment Bill, our team have been undertaking training courses on Biodiversity Net Gain.

Once the Environment Bill is passed, there will be a requirement for all developments to incorporate a minimum of 10% net gain in biodiversity (some LPA’s have different requirements), as determined by the Natural England Biodiversity Net Gain Metric. Current net gain calculations can be undertaken on the beta version of the metric, with the final version set to be released in the coming months. Click here to read more about Biodiversity Net Gain on CIEEM’s website.

Earlier this year, Helen completed CIEEM’s “Calculating and Using Biodiversity Units with Metric 2.0” training course  and has since run an in-house training session for the team about how to use the Metric. Ian and Rachel are hoping to complete this course once the final version of the Metric has been released as well as the metric for smaller developments. All of our team have completed the “Biodiversity Net Gain Through Development” CIEEM training course and are looking forward to putting their new skills into practice.

Local Planning Authorities across the UK are beginning to request net gain calculations along with ecology reports. Inspired Ecology have therefore undertaken several Biodiversity Net Gain calculations already, providing solutions for both large and small projects within a number of Local Planning Authorities.

In order to achieve the best outcomes for your development and for nature, it is best to consult ecologists within the early stages of development. The inclusion of net gain measures early in the design process (or even as early as the feasibility stage of a project) will help to reduce costs further down the line.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help to ensure Biodiversity Net Gain in your project.

GCN Mitigation in North Lincolnshire

This summer, Scarborough Nixon Associates Ltd have been involved in a great crested newt Triturus cristatus mitigation project on a site in North Lincolnshire, in order to remove the newts from a development site.

Previous surveys conducted by Scarborough Nixon Associates Ltd found that a medium-sized population of great crested newts are present within a pond adjacent to the development site, and that the development site provided terrestrial grassland habitat for this species. The great crested newts needed to be removed from the grassland before the start of development on site, so to do this, newt exclusion fencing was been put up around the site, and pitfall traps and refuge areas were installed along the fenceline.

Just after the halfway point of trapping, 81 great crested newts, 28 smooth newts Lissotriton vulgaris, 5 common frogs Rana temporaria and 184 common toads Bufo bufo have been found so far. They have all been relocated to amphibian refugia in the receptor area, next to the pond. With up to another 25 days of trapping to go, it’s likely that these numbers will keep on rising!

Newt surveys

The sun is shining, the weather is getting warmer and Scarborough Nixon Associates Ltd’s licenced surveyors have started the seasons great crested newt evening surveys.

Great crested newt surveys are undertaken in spring when the animals are in their aquatic habitat. Surveys to establish presence/absence must be undertaken between March and June, therefore forward planning is essential to prevent costly delays. Scarborough Nixon Associates Ltd undertake pond and water body assessments as part of any ecological appraisal and can advise on the likely requirement for great crested newt surveys.

Contact us today to discuss your project.