Good to hear from Tony Juniper at Natural England and others today on the launch of the Biodiversity Metric 3.0, the finalised version of the metric which will be adopted under the Environment Bill in the roll out of mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG).
There are some key changes to the metric from the previous iteration (Metric 2.0) which should help in the delivery of meaningful benefits for nature.
A few selected updates include:
• ‘Suburban/mosaic of developed/natural surface’ category deleted and replaced with guidance on using a 70/30 split of developed land/gardens to simplify the metric options
• The Connectivity tool and the Accelerated Succession option for woodland creation have been removed given problems/complexity and consultation responses
• Advanced creation/enhancement of habitats: new functionality allows the ‘time to target condition’ multiplier to be reduced proportionally to reflect advanced habitat creation.
• Delay creation/enhancement of habitats: new functionality to allow for delayed creation/enhancement of habitat, when necessary.
• Removal of certain habitats to simply/clarify calculations
• Updated Condition Assessment Methods to clarify and assist in determining quality of existing and proposed habitats
• New GIS tool to assist in measurements and in sharing of spatial data
In addition to the BM3.0, new beta testing version of the ‘Small sites metric’ (for minor developments) and the ‘Environmental Benefits For Nature Tool’ to help highlight the effects upon ecosystem services.
All new Biodiversity Metric 3.0 tools and supporting information can be found here: http://nepubprod.appspot.com/publication/6049804846366720