The first stage of any Biodiversity Net Gain project is to fully understand and document a site’s ecological baseline. Through a combination of desk study and field surveys, our Ecologists assess and record the type and condition of all habitats on site, and then use DEFRA’s Statutory Biodiversity Metric to determine the baseline Biodiversity Units, and devise a suitable BNG Strategy.
BNG Baseline Surveys can be undertaken at any time of year, but best botanical results are achieved in Spring to early Summer. Detailed recording of every habitat on the site is carried out using the UK Habitat Classification system with the condition of each habitat parcel individually assessed. The site survey also extends to a record of the plant species present and the potential for the site to support protected species such as bats, badger, hazel dormice and great crested newt. Soil surveys can also be arranged at an early stage too in order to understand nutrient levels and pH.
Alongside the site assessment, a Desk Study is undertaken to provide context to the site and surrounding landscape. Information from the Local Authority and other available resources is accessed to determine the presence of designated
sites and locally important habitats. Relevant Local Plans, Strategies and Policies are reviewed to understand Local Nature Recovery targets and challenges.
Further to production of a baseline, the Statutory BNG Metric is then used to model potential options for habitat creation and enhancement. For development projects, this forms a key part of the design process to understand what can be delivered on-site, and identify where there may be a need for off-site provision. For habitat banking projects, the aim is to present a series of suitable habitat options for consideration, and the potential unit yield that could be generated. The baseline survey results and potential options are summarised in a BNG Assessment & Strategy Report.
"The tree teams have been very good at contacting us with issues and queries on site and as a team we appreciate the thought and care taken when undertaking work in the Borough."
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
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"A seamless service, from initial survey to clear and practical management plans. From senior management level to operative, I have found their staff to be professional, hard-working, courteous and well-disciplined."
“A big thank you to Alison and the team for a perfect document from which to work.”
"Maydencroft understood exactly what we wanted to achieve from our very first meeting, and helped us come up with a suitable plan that Natural England could agree to very quickly and with very little fuss."
Asset Surveyor at Affinity Water