Established in 2014, our experts specialise in providing a comprehensive biodiversity impact assessment service. We were early adopters of Biodiversity Impact Assessment (BIA) and Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) working closely on schemes in pioneers areas such as Warwickshire. We have kept close to the multitude of changes over recent years which lead to the adoption of the Secretary of State BNG Metric.  

We recognise the importance of close liaison with our clients and the wider team. We advocate early engagement even at scheme viability appraisal before site purchase. 

Ensuring Compliance with UK Regulations for Biodiversity Gain

In February 2024, the United Kingdom passed groundbreaking regulations mandating 10% Biodiversity Gain Requirements. These regulations signify a pivotal step in the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity across the nation. As a result, Biodiversity Impact Assessments (BIAs) have become indispensable tools for individuals, businesses, and organisations seeking to comply with these regulations while fostering environmental stewardship.

To ensure compliance with Biodiversity Gain Requirements within the Environment Act (2021), it is critical to conduct thorough BIAs. These assessments should adhere to specific guidelines and criteria outlined in the regulations to facilitate effective decision-making and mitigate adverse impacts on biodiversity.

Biodiversity Impact Assessment

Biodiversity Survey Experts  

At RammSanderson, our Biodiversity Impact Assessment involves comparing the condition and size of natural habitats before and after the completion of a development. To do this, our experts must survey a site before any site preparation works have begun.

For the first stage of this survey, an extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey should be carried out; this survey method allows the broad habitat types to be recorded and mapped. This captures information on any protected or priority animal species that may be present at the site.

Our team have extensive experience in undertaking baseline site appraisals. All Phase 1 surveys are completed to UKHabs classification and record the DEFRA conditions at this time.  

We have built an extensive background understanding of BNG and critically, not only do we understand the sites current baseline, but we ensure we have detailed consultation with our client team to address the post construction baseline. We believe in early consultation with the design team to input in to the landscape mast plan to achieve net gain on site via practical habitat provisions that are deliverable on site whilst maximising ecological opportunities. Significantly we ensure scheme designs are achievable in the 30 year plan period and condition assessments for habitats are realistic to avoid unnecessary delays in planning or potential actions post planning where a site development plan fails to meet its net gain planting targets. 

Looking up at trees

Our Biodiversity Assessment Service

Our Biodiversity Impact Assessment services includes:
  • The collection of survey data
  • Inputting data into a biodiversity impact calculator (excel spreadsheet)
  • Determination of Habitat Biodiversity Value
  • Advice on design to avoid removing sensitive habits and reducing costs
  • Fixed site layout, calculation of impact, advice on planting schemes and landscape management
  • Comparison of the site’s Habitat Biodiversity Value with Development Biodiversity Value
  • Generation of Habitat Biodiversity Impact score (positive/negative)
  • Consultation with the developer on layout or landscape changes before submission of the assessment
  • Modular River Physical Survey (MoRPH)

On complex sites, it might be necessary to survey different habitats at different times of the year, when the key ‘indicator species’ are possible to identify with certainty.

Broadly, the optimal times to survey different habitat types are as follows:
  • Woodlands in spring
  • Grasslands in mid-summer
  • Heathlands in autumn
  • Open waters between mid-June and the end of September

Why Choose RammSanderson for Biodiversity Impact Assessment?

RammSanderson has been working with the Biodiversity Impact Assessment system since 2016 and has demonstrable success in this field. By working closely with our clients and partner organisation we can design schemes seeking to firstly provide net gain on site. Where this is not achievable we are readily able to support offsite contributions through our extensive partnerships and client base including third party providers The Habitat Bank.

We have the expertise to be involved with a proposal from inception through to submission, with experienced staff able to complete the site surveys, reporting, and digital mapping, as well as being capable complete the Biodiversity Impact Assessment Metric, advise on optimal landscaping and design layouts, and hold dialogue with the Local Planning Authority where it would be of benefit for a submission.

Whatever the stage of your planning application, we can provide support for the Biodiversity Impact Assessment, so please contact us if you would like to find out more about how we can help your scheme.


RammSanderson has a team of experienced consultants ready to carry out Biodiversity Impact Assessments. Get in touch today!