South Downs National Park introduces Biodiversity Net Gain, Nitrate and Phosphate Broker Service to help restore nature
March 20, 2023
An innovative scheme to restore biodiversity and deliver nature-based climate action is being launched by the South Downs National Park Authority.
“ReNature Credits” will bring together developers and landowners to unlock private finance streams that deliver multiple benefits for nature recovery, including restoring lost habitats, woodland creation and wildflower meadows.
It comes as the compliance and offsetting market widens significantly this year with the introduction of mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain from November for most types of development.
Developers will be able to acquire ReNature Credits through the National Park Authority’s brokerage service for phosphates, nitrates, and Biodiversity Net Gain. Carbon offsetting may also be introduced at a later date.
The National Park Authority is uniquely placed as a Local Planning Authority with thousands of hectares of land already identified for biodiversity restoration as part of its existing ReNature initiative.
Launched two years ago, the ReNature campaign is aiming to create 13,000 hectares of new wildlife habitat and, following a “Call for Sites” among landowners, dozens of sites are ready for large-scale nature recovery. Currently 25 per cent of the National Park is managed for nature and the Authority wants to increase this to 33 per cent by 2030.
Acting as a sustainability-focused broker, the Authority will work with developers and landowners to maximise benefits for nature and local communities within the National Park. The brokerage service is initially launching with two strategic sites: Iford Estate and Warnford Park Estate.
Nick Heasman, Countryside and Policy Manager for the Authority, said: “We’re excited to be launching this bespoke service to help achieve our ambitious goals for nature recovery and climate change.
“Nutrient credits and biodiversity units are not a new thing in the planning world, but they often don’t have a joined-up approach that delivers nature benefits at a landscape scale. This is where “ReNature Credits” are different. As a National Park covering 1,600km2 and with over 1,000 different landowners, we can identify the very best areas for biodiversity restoration and ensure habitat connectivity that will deliver tangible, long-term benefits for both nature and people.”
Developers with a need to purchase ReNature Credits for their upcoming projects, within or outside the National Park, can acquire them through the SDNPA ReNature Credits brokerage service.
Nick added: “We want to be very clear that this is not about incentivising more development in and around the National Park. This innovative scheme will ensure that the sustainable development that does take place over the next decade will benefit nature and people locally, funneling private investment into the places where it’s needed most. As this scheme grows over the next few years, it will also create a number of new green jobs in the sector.”
ReNature Credits offer developers a transparently priced, simple process that delivers the highest quality nature restoration, allowing them to better support sustainability and biodiversity.
To acquire credits or to get in touch with the National Park’s team delivering ReNature Credits, visit https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/renature-credits/
To see a detailed FAQ explaining the scheme, visit www.southdowns.gov.uk/renature-credits/faqs/
To find out more about the ReNature campaign visit www.southdowns.gov.uk/renature/