Biodiversity Net Gain
The government has updated the timetable for Mandatory BNG, which was set to commence in November 2023. Developers in England will now be required to deliver 10% “Biodiversity Net Gain” from January 2024 onwards when building new housing, industrial or commercial developments, meaning by law they must deliver a net positive for the local environment, for example, by creating new habitats and green spaces. Biodiversity Net Gain for small sites will still be applicable from April 2024, and implementation for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects remains planned for 2025.
No let-up in the decline of our wildlife
The UK’s wildlife is continuing to decline, according to the State of Nature Report 2023.
Like most other countries worldwide, the UK has seen a significant loss of its plants, animals and fungi. The data from the State of Nature cover, at most, 50 years, but this follows centuries of habitat loss, development and persecution. As a result, the UK is now one of the most nature-depleted countries on Earth.
But the reasons for the decline are clear, and we know conservation actions deliver results for nature. We have never had a better understanding of the State of Nature and what is needed to fix it.
Helping our hedgerows
The People's Trust for Endangered Species aims to restore and create a thriving network of healthy hedgerows across the countryside to ensure the long-term survival and continued health of every UK hedgerow. This benefits not only those working on the land but the myriad native wildlife that calls these iconic and hugely important living habitats home too.
The charity’s hedgerow management advice is available via PTES’ free Healthy Hedgerows app (available via the Apple Store or Google Play). By answering just six questions, the app can perform a quick health check that tells users where their hedgerows are within the natural lifecycle. It offers bespoke management recommendations for each hedge and advises which hedges to prioritise for rejuvenation when creating or adjusting their hedgerow management plans.
They also have a useful guide of the six top tips for managing hedgerows.
IES Webinar: Supporting net zero delivery through EIA
Catch up with the recent Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) webinar. It starts with a brief introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the current requirements to address greenhouse gas emissions in EIA. Some practical examples of how these requirements have been reflected in recent practice will then be discussed, including the relevant findings of a recent research project, before considering how we move towards closer alignment with the net zero agenda.
New Field to Fork funding
Is your local community farm, community garden or community allotment seeking to expand its work and engage with more local people? Then East Suffolk Communities Team may be able to help! They have launched a new grants scheme, Field to Fork, to make funding available to projects to increase the number of people using the existing or emerging spaces where produce is grown. To find out more, contact [email protected]