Biodiversity net gain and environmental net gain are designed to ensure that built development and other land use change result in overall improvements in the environment. The following tools to assist with this:
The Biodiversity Metric published Natural England provides a way of measuring and accounting for biodiversity losses and gains resulting from built development or a change in the way land is managed. It is designed for use in England. A Biodiversity Metric 3.0 was released in July 2021. It is supplemented by a Small Sites metric, which is currently available as a 'beta' test version. The Small Sites Metric is intended for use according to specific criteria for the size of the development, and where there is no priority habitat present.
Environmental Benefits of Nature Tool (formerly known as the Ecometric)
The Environmental Benefits of Nature Tool (formerly known as the Ecometric) has been developed by Natural England to work alongside the biodiversity metric, mirroring the approach by applying a matrix of scores for different habitats and ecosystem services, which are modified by multipliers reflecting habitat condition, spatial location, delivery risk, and the time taken for new habitats to reach maturity. It is currently available as a 'beta' test version. It is designed for use in England.
NATURE Tool (Nature Assessment Tool for Urban and Rural Environments)
The NATURE Tool (Nature Assessment Tool for Urban and Rural Environments) was developed to enable built environment professionals throughout the UK to objectively assess and measure to what extent new plans or developments achieve net gains. The development of the Tool was co-funded by Innovate UK and led by WSP with support from the Ecosystems Knowledge Network and Northumbria University. The NATURE Tool was previously known as the 'Net Gain Planning Tool'.