Navigating the Landscape of Change: Embracing Biodiversity Net Gain

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Navigating the Landscape of Change: Embracing Biodiversity Net Gain

In an industry that thrives on precision and predictability, the introduction of new regulations can often evoke a sense of unease. The concerns are understandable. Implementing new requirements inevitably brings about challenges, including potential delays, increased complexity, and additional costs. However, these challenges should not overshadow the overarching goal of BNG: to create spaces that benefit both wildlife and people.

The Buzz Surrounding BNG

Bee on a flower on a housing development.Over the last few months we’ve been speaking with many people across the #construction, #landscaping, #design, #horticulture, #engineering, and #drainage industries and the buzz surrounding BNG is palpable.

While some view it as an unwelcome addition to the already complex regulatory landscape, most recognise its potential to transform the way we interact with the natural world.

Biodiversity Net Gain: A Beacon of Hope

The biodiversity and climate crises are stark realities that demand our immediate attention. The loss of biodiversity has far-reaching consequences, impacting ecosystems, food security and human health. BNG offers a beacon of hope in this dire scenario, providing a framework for sustainable development that safeguards and enhances our natural environment.

The benefits of BNG extend beyond ecological restoration. By incorporating nature-based solutions into our designs, we can create healthier, more resilient communities that foster wellbeing and economic prosperity. Wildlife-rich green spaces have been shown to reduce stress, improve air quality, and boost productivity. They also play a vital role in mitigating climate change, absorbing carbon dioxide and regulating temperatures.

Benefits Beyond Ecological Restoration

There is a difficult balance to be reached in our urban areas and new developments where space is at a premium and expensive, and yet these are the places where access to nature is so important. Whilst large, field scale biodiversity gain is essential for nature recovery we also need simple and compact solutions which can bring the natural world into our grey environments. Green roofs, living walls and BioScapes habitat units are part of the solution, and we need to work creatively to make sure these interventions are also effective ecologically. BioScapes’ range of wildlife planters provides a convenient and effective way to enhance the biodiversity of public spaces, allowing for quick and easy transformations of outdoor areas.

The Construction Industry's Role

The construction industry has a pivotal role to play in delivering BNG but needs certainty and clarity from Government and guidance toward simple solutions from across the sector. By collaborating with ecologists, landscape architects, and land managers, we can deliver innovative solutions that seamlessly integrate biodiversity into our projects. This requires a shift in mindset, moving from treating nature as an obstacle to recognising it as an integral part of the design process.

The journey towards BNG will undoubtedly present challenges. However, the rewards of creating a more sustainable and biodiverse world far outweigh the initial hurdles. As we adapt to the changing landscape, let’s not be paralysed by fear but embrace the opportunity to shape a future where humanity and nature thrive in harmony.

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Author: Terry Smithson BSc in Zoology, MSc in Ecology

Terry is our in-house ecologist. He’s worked in the nature conservation sector for over 25 years and loves all things wildlife, especially hoverflies, beetles, mammals and birds. He’s helped design our BioScapes products so they maximise the recovery of wildlife and he’s happy to offer advice to individuals, schools and businesses on how to boost biodiversity.

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