With the advent of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG), the creation of wildlife habitat has become an attractive commercial opportunity. We will see more and more ‘habitat banks’ which create ‘units’ for sale to developers, enabling them to achieve the now mandatory 10% habitat gain. Of course, this will mostly lead to (very welcome) increases in meadow, scrub and woodland habitats, but what about more restricted or unusual habitats and the species which depend on them?
Avian Ecology is delighted to be working on a series of visionary new wetlands in the north-west, converting former industrial land to high quality habitat for declining waders such as Ringed Plover, Redshank and Lapwing. The projects include the creation of extensive shallow lagoons and short-sward wet grassland, as well as provision of a permanent water source for management and predator fencing. With these measures the projects aim to safeguard and expand vital bird populations and will also provide havens for populations of scarce invertebrates and safeguard botanically diverse grasslands. These sites will be subject to a detailed management program, ensuring ambitious conservation goals are achieved and continually improved under the guidance of experts.
As ecologists we work alongside developers and landowners; it is only by understanding the commercial requirements of businesses that we can unlock the biodiversity potential of such sites and BNG provides a framework to deliver this. Avian Ecology looks forward to our increasing involvement in habitat creation, alongside our more conventional consultancy project portfolio.