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5 TOP TIPS: Biodiversity Net Gain credits market

5 TOP TIPS: Biodiversity Net Gain credits market

Jack Dafters MSc, graduate surveyor within Stags Professional Services, discusses Biodiversity Net Gain and provides top tips on what to do if you are considering entering the BNG credits market.

Biodiversity Net Gain (or ‘BNG’) is a government-imposed strategy, introduced under the provisions of the Environment Act 2021, coming into force from November 2023. BNG targets developers at various levels to ensure that habitat for wildlife is in a measurably better state than it was before any development. The policy requires developers in England to demonstrate that they can deliver a minimum of a 10% gain in biodiversity, compared to pre-development figures, in order to receive planning permission. These requirements can be satisfied on-site and/or off-site, or through the purchase of statutory biodiversity credits.

From a landowner’s perspective, with the start date getting ever closer, it is reasonable to consider this policy as an opportunity to diversify your business income.

The emerging BNG market for off-site credits is in its infancy, but essentially involves the creation or enhancement of habitats on your land to subsequently sell to developers who are unable to fulfil their BNG obligations on-site. With the BNG market expected to accelerate once the policy becomes mandatory, it is important for those interested to prepare now. Listed below are five ways in which landowners, who are interested in entering the BNG credits market, can ensure that they are getting the most from their land:

1.    Plan extensively - Before any steps are taken, it is essential to ensure that entering into the BNG market tallies with your existing farming business and your medium to long term plans. This is particularly relevant where you are considering taking productive land out of use to enhance its biodiversity.

2.    Research - Find out what habitats your local area needs and if any developments are taking place. Ask your local planning authority for information on Biodiversity Opportunity Areas or consult your local plan to identify any potential developments.

3.    Establish what you have to offer - Calculate the baseline BNG measurements of your site using the Biodiversity Metric 4.0 (a biodiversity accounting tool that can be used for the purposes of calculating BNG) to establish the existing levels and the amount of uplift that is available.

4.    Register your land - Developers will use the Natural England Biodiversity Site register to identify sites to purchase credits. Registering your land with this site will ensure you are in the market. The site is due to go live from November 2023.

5.    Get advice - Biodiversity Net Gain is a contemporary and dynamic issue and can seem complicated. Stags Professional Services team are well placed to assist with this.


If you are a landowner interested in the Biodiversity Net Gain market, or you have any questions on the above and how our team can help you,
please call our Professional Services team on 01884 235701 or email