The Environmental Benefits from Nature tool is designed to work alongside Biodiversity metric 3.0 and provide developers, planners and other interested parties with a means of enabling wider benefits for people and nature from biodiversity net gain. The tool uses a habitat-based approach to provide a common and consistent means of considering the direct impact of land use change across 18 ecosystem service services.
It has been developed by Natural England and the University of Oxford in partnership with Defra, the Forestry Commission and the Environment Agency to support Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan commitment to expand net gain approaches to include wider Natural Capital benefits such as flood protection, recreation and improved water and air quality.
The accompanying documents outline principles and instructions for use, along with supporting technical information.
The Beta tool will be evaluated over the next year to determine next steps. Please provide feedback via the accompanying User Survey. Natural England are also looking for projects to take part in more in-depth evaluation. Details of how to express and interest can be found here.
Although designed to work with the Biodiversity Metric 3.0 the EBNT is an entirely voluntary tool that is not required to meet the biodiversity net gain provisions set out in the Environment Bill for development in England.