Supporting land managers in BNG site monitoring & reporting

Supporting land managers in BNG site monitoring & reporting

As you may have heard, the long-awaited Biodiversity Net Gain initiative, set forth by the Environment Act 2021, is on the verge of becoming a reality as November 2023 approaches. With this significant shift, nearly all planning permissions granted in England, except for small sites, will be required to demonstrate at least 10% Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG). Small sites will follow suit in April 2024, and Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) will join the mandate in 2025. This transformative commitment places the onus on developers to enhance biodiversity post-development, making it an opportune moment for landowners and land managers to ensure effective BNG implementation on their land. In this article, we delve into the key aspects of BNG monitoring and reporting, spotlighting our Ezyasset system which can significantly support and enhance these crucial conservation efforts.

Understanding Biodiversity Net Gain

At its core, Biodiversity Net Gain is a groundbreaking approach to environmental conservation, aspiring to leave the environment in a better state than before any development takes place. Developers are tasked with enhancing biodiversity either on-site or, when not feasible, through off-site measures, effectively offsetting their project’s ecological impact. The ultimate objective is to achieve a minimum 10% increase in biodiversity compared to the baseline scenario, paving the way for a positive environmental legacy for generations to come.

The crucial role of Land Managers

As guardians of the land, land managers will assume a pivotal role in delivering successful Biodiversity Net Gain. Collaborating closely with developers, local authorities, and ecologists, they play a crucial role in the seamless implementation and long-term monitoring of biodiversity enhancements. Let’s explore the key responsibilities of land managers in the context of BNG:

Here are the key responsibilities of land managers in the context of BNG:

1. Habitat Assessments: Land managers will need to arrange baseline ecological surveys involving habitat surveys and condition assessments to identify existing biodiversity on their land. Understanding the current ecological value is essential for determining the potential for enhancement and setting realistic BNG targets.

2. Collaboration with Local Planning Authorities (LPAs): During the planning process, land managers collaborate closely with Local Planning Authorities (LPAs), providing precise biodiversity data, habitat assessments, and valuable insights to contribute to the creation of BNG plans for the development.

3. Implementation of BNG Plans: Once approved, it becomes the responsibility of land managers to implement the proposed biodiversity enhancements. This could involve creating new habitats, improving existing ones, or actively supporting off-site conservation initiatives.

4. Long-term Monitoring: Monitoring and reporting are cornerstones of BNG’s efficacy. Land managers must diligently track the progress of biodiversity enhancements over a 30-year period. Regular monitoring reports will be essential in demonstrating compliance with BNG obligations.

5. Record-Keeping and Documentation: Comprehensive documentation of all BNG activities is vital. This includes maintaining detailed habitat management plans, monitoring reports, and a comprehensive record of any modifications made during the implementation process.

Navigating the Challenges of Monitoring and Reporting

The advent of Biodiversity Net Gain poses new challenges for land managers, as they prepare to manage, monitor, and report on their lands throughout the net gain agreement’s duration. The stringent monitoring and reporting requirements necessitate meticulous data management and timely submissions of progress reports. Land managers may encounter resource constraints, driving the need for efficient tools to streamline these processes.

Ezyasset: Empowering Land Managers for Effective BNG Monitoring and Reporting

To aid land managers in this mission, we are delighted to introduce Ezyasset, a transformative solution that supports efficient recording, monitoring and reporting of BNG sites. This GIS based software is the ideal tool for mapping, assessing, managing, and periodically reviewing the condition of habitats.

–  Easy and efficient assessments in-the-field with our user friendly Onsite surveying app for iOS & Android;

–  Versatile plotting of habitats as point, linear or polygon features with auto-calculation of measurements;

–  Bespoke survey forms for each habitat type allowing use of standard habitat condition assessment criteria;

–  All survey and maintenance activity is logged against each plotted habitat, forming an auditable history for each record;

–  Highly customisable reporting and other outputs.

Don’t let the complexities of Biodiversity Net Gain monitoring hinder your team’s efficiency. Request a Demo now and witness the power of Ezyasset in action.