Biodiversity Net Gain

Biodiversity Net Gain Training Online With Top Experts

todayJanuary 13, 2024


Biodiversity Net Gain Training Online with Top Experts

Beyond Biodiversity Net Gain Online Training

Biodiversity Net Gain Training Online

Constructive Voices has been working with a number of biodiversity net gain experts to create an accessible online training series: Beyond Biodiversity Net Gain. This biodiversity net gain training online series will make you feel fluent about BNG, regardless of how much you know now. It is not intended to replace your team of ecologists but to help those working in the built environment become knowledgeable about how they can work towards a nature-positive future.

Led by Claire Wansbury, it has been designed to be easy to dip in and out of to suit your own schedule. It consists of 12-video led modules featuring a range of experts.

This feature introduces you to the first few modules.

Here is a 1-2 minute taster of Module 1

With Claire Wansbury, AtkinsRéalis Fellow & Biodiversity and Natural Capital Technical Authority. Technical Director; Environment Practice

Module 1: It’s Not Just Business As Usual And A Few More Trees


In the first module of the Beyond Biodiversity Net Gain training series, we’re exploring a concept that’s creating ripples in the world of conservation and urban planning: biodiversity net gain.

  • The Concept of Biodiversity Net Gain: Claire introduces us to the idea of biodiversity net gain (BNG), a pivotal strategy for ensuring that development projects in England contribute positively to the environment.

  • Legislation and Policy: We discuss the recent inclusion of BNG in the Environment Act of 2021 and its implications for the Town and Country Planning Act, marking a significant shift towards mandatory environmental responsibility in construction.

  • Beyond Compliance: Biodiversity net gain isn’t just a tick-box exercise; it represents a harmonious blend of environmental, societal, and economic benefits. We’ll explore why BNG is essential for sustainable development.

  • Measuring Success: Our guest breaks down the metric-based framework used to evaluate biodiversity net gain, explaining the mitigation hierarchy—avoidance, mitigation, and compensation—and the goal of achieving a minimum of a 10% net increase in biodiversity.

  • Holistic Habitat Design: The conversation will delve into the importance of qualitative measures alongside quantitative ones, emphasising the need for thoughtful habitat design that serves both people and wildlife.

  • Collaborative Progress: Claire highlights the value of shared experiences and learning in perfecting the application of BNG. As we progress, it’s about building a collective understanding to implement these principles more effectively.

  • A Vision for the Future: Finally, we look at the broader objective of using BNG, among other tools, to work towards a future where nature isn’t just preserved but is actively enriched by development activities.

Join us as we explore how biodiversity net gain is not just reshaping the landscape of environmental policy but is also laying the groundwork for a more sustainable and nature-positive future. Tune in to gain valuable insights and learn how we can all play a part in this transformative movement.

Beyond Biodiversity Net Gain Training

Check out this 3-minute taster of Module 2

Module 2: Why Beyond is Better For Your Budget and Your Health


With Jane Findlay FLI PPLI, Founding Director of Fira and Past President of the Landscape Institute


In this enlightening video, experts Claire and Jane delve into the pressing topic of biodiversity net gain, which is set to become a mandatory requirement in England’s planning applications. The learning module presents a compelling case for designing multifunctional landscapes that serve the dual purpose of enhancing biodiversity and promoting human health and well-being.

Key Highlights:

  1. Mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain: The imminent status of biodiversity net gain as a compulsory aspect of planning developments in England and its implications.
  2. Multifunctional Landscapes: The concept of going beyond simple biodiversity enhancements to create spaces that benefit both the environment and human populations.
  3. Role of Built Environment Professionals: The critical responsibility of architects, planners, and designers to integrate nature into their projects, recognizing our dependence on ecological systems.
  4. Comprehensive Benefits of Biodiversity: The multifaceted advantages of biodiversity net gain, including the creation of better living spaces, health and well-being promotion, and climate change mitigation.
  5. Potential Pitfalls: The risks of treating biodiversity net gain as a mere box-ticking exercise, which could undermine deeper ecological objectives, drawing parallels to attitudes sometimes observed with BREEAM.
  6. Small-Scale Initiatives: The significance of minor but essential actions, like swift boxes, which, despite being overlooked by habitat metrics, are vital for authentic environmental stewardship.
  7. Long-Term Management Challenges: The hurdles faced in maintaining biodiversity projects over time and the importance of client awareness and effective management strategies for enduring success.
  8. Evidence-Based Design: Sustainable and health-promoting design practices supported by research, with examples such as London’s recyclable Olympic Park buildings, the healing influence of natural vistas in hospitals, and the positive effects of nature on education and workplace environments.
  9. Health Benefits of Green Spaces: Insights from Newcastle University and Natural England on the connection between green space proximity and public health, aligning with governmental targets for accessible natural areas.
  10. The Pandemic’s Impact: How COVID-19 has heightened public appreciation for green spaces and influenced a trend toward incorporating nature into urban planning, especially in residential projects.
  11. A Case Study in Action: A 1990s office complex project demonstrates the long-term benefits of integrating biodiversity and sustainable features for employee well-being and reduced absenteeism.
  12. The Call to Action: The urgent need for early incorporation of nature recovery and biodiversity into design planning to support community regeneration, attract investment, and enhance quality of life.
  13. Continuing the Conversation: An invitation to further explore this topic and a reminder of the importance of ongoing education and engagement with upcoming sessions.

This module is a must-watch for those interested in the intersection of landscape design, urban planning, and ecological stewardship, as well as the broad impacts these fields have on community health and the environment.

Beyond Biodiversity Net Gain Training Module 3: The Maths Matter

With Claire Wansbury, AtkinsRéalis Fellow & Biodiversity and Natural Capital Technical Authority. Technical Director; Environment Practice

  • Introduction: Module 3 features a deep dive into England’s innovative approach to preserving biodiversity amidst development projects, with insights from ecologist Clare Wansbury of Atkins.

  • Understanding Biodiversity Net Gain: We unpack the concept of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and its significance in ensuring that development projects contribute positively to the environment.

  • England’s Biodiversity Metric 4.0 Explained: Clare Wansbury walks us through the complexities of the biodiversity metric 4.0, a tool used to quantify the impacts of development on biodiversity.

  • Components of the Metric: Learn about the key components that the metric evaluates, including habitat areas, terrestrial linear features, and watercourses, and why trading between these types is strictly controlled.

  • Calculating Biodiversity Units: Discover how the metric calculates net changes in biodiversity units, factoring in the area, distinctiveness, condition, and strategic significance of habitats.

  • Post-Development Challenges: The discussion sheds light on the additional elements considered for habitats post-development and the challenges in maintaining or enhancing their value.

  • The Role of Irreplaceable Habitats: Clare emphasizes the crucial importance of irreplaceable habitats and how the metric accounts for their conservation.

  • Compensatory Measures: We explore the methods for compensating biodiversity losses, including on-site habitat creation or enhancement, and the complexities of off-site compensation.

  • Consulting with DEFRA: The module stresses the importance of consulting with DEFRA for comprehensive guidance on achieving BNG, highlighting its integral role in project planning.

  • The 10% Net Gain Target: Clare Wansbury talks about the government’s ambitious target of a 10% net gain in biodiversity and what it means for future developments.

  • Conclusion: Wrapping up, we discuss the metric’s impact on the environment and its potential to shape a sustainable future for development and biodiversity in England.

We hope you enjoyed this introduction to the Beyond Biodiversity Net Gain online training course.

To discover the full curriculum head over to the Beyond Biodiversity Net Gain online training learning centre.

Written by: Jackie De Burca