What you can count towards a development’s biodiversity net gain (BNG)

How developers can use habitat creation or enhancements to count towards their BNG.biodiversity net gain (BNG).

Applies to England

Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is mandatory from 12 February 2024.

If you’reyou creatingalready need to create or enhancingenhance habitat as part of your development, you may be able to count this towards your 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG.).  

YouExamples canof stillother doschemes thisyou ifmay thebe habitatable requiredto forcount your development is to:include: 

  • ‌habitat creation or enhancement delivered to comply with acertain statutory obligationobligations or policy,policies, forsuch exampleas green infrastructure, environmentalsustainable impactdrainage, assessmentor nutrient mitigation 

  • ‌mitigation and compensation measures for protected sites and species (for example, suitable alternative natural green space (EIASANG), compensation or sustainablehabitat drainage

    creation for district level licensing 
  • provideproviding river basin management plan (RBMP) mitigation and enhancement measuresmeasures 

What you can count in full, in part or not at all

You cannot include some habitat schemes in BNG calculations at all. There are other schemes that you can include: 

  • in full - for enhancing actions, such as green infrastructure (a developer can satisfy all their BNG requirements through the works, receiving 110% of their biodiversity units through them) 
  • providein part - for mitigation orand compensation foractions, protectedsuch speciesas ornutrient sites,mitigation for(at exampleleast nutrient10% of the developer’s biodiversity units must come from additional activities other than mitigation

    and compensation)  

IfExample: you’rea alsodeveloper providingalready off-sitehas to do nutrient mitigation andto compensationcompensate for protectedimpacts siteson andprotected species,species. thisThis maycounts countin part towards your BNG., Youso should do at least 10% of yourtheir total (110%) BNG throughshould othercome activities,from measures which are not nutrient mitigation. The development needs to achieve 11 biodiversity units, so nutrient mitigation can count for example,10 of these units. At least 1 unit should come from other on-site habitator creationoff-site andgains enhancement.or statutory biodiversity credits. 

IfThe you’resame usingrules off-siteapply units,to what you needcan tocount legallywhether secureon-site theseor foroff-site. atFor leastexample, 30if years.something Youcan mustonly registercount themin beforepart theywhen taking place off-site, it can also only count in part when on-site, and vice versa. 

How to count other schemes towards your BNG.

YouIf shouldyou notwant to count other habitat creation or enhancementsenhancement scheme work towards your BNG, ifyou you’remust alreadyinclude requiredit toin do this for:your: 

  • restockingmetric conditionscalculation  
  • biodiversity relatinggain toplan 

For aexample, treeif fellingyou licenceare orcounting awork restockingfor notice

  • marineanother licensing
  • remediationscheme underin thepart environmentaltowards damageyour regulations
  • RBMPBNG, mitigationyou andshould enhancement

    Youenter canit countinto RBMPyour mitigationmetric towardscalculation yourlike totalany BNG.other Ifhabitat you’recreation alreadyor providingenhancement RBMPwork. mitigationYou toshould preventalso deteriorationexplain asclearly partin of your development,biodiversity yougain shouldplan dohow at least 10% of your BNG throughis separatecoming activities.from habitat creation or enhancement outside the scheme. 


    Rules you’refor providingeach scheme

    Name of schemeHow it can count towards BNG
    Sustainable urban drainage (SUDs)In full (in part when part of nutrient neutrality)
    Green infrastructureIn full
    River basin management plan (RBMP) enhancementIn asfull
    River basin management plan (RBMP) mitigationIn part
    Nutrient ofneutrality youror development,mitigationIn youpart
    Suitable willalternative notnatural needgreen space (SANG)In part
    Environmental impact assessment compensationIn part
    Mitigation or compensation to doa separatespecial activitiesarea of conservation, special protection area, or protected speciesIn part
    Mitigation or compensation to dofunctionally yourlinked totalland BNG(FLL.

    In part
    District licensingIn part
    Restocking conditions relating to a tree felling licence or a restocking noticeNot allowed
    Remediation under the environmental damage regulationsNot allowed

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    Published 2 May 2023
    Last updated 12 February 2024 + show all updates
    1. Updated to state that biodiversity net gain (BNG) is mandatory from 12 February 2024. Also completely updated throughout to clarify the rules on what you can count in full, in part or not at all, including a table showing rules for specific schemes, and how to count other schemes towards BNG.

    2. First published.