OLNP supports farmers with new Biodiversity Net Gain legislation

February 22, 2024
Matt Whitney

The OLNP and NFU co-chaired a workshop for Oxfordshire's farmers, exploring how they can make Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) work for their farm business

On February 12th, a significant milestone for nature was reached as Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) became mandatory for all developments exceeding 10 dwellings across England. If you’re unfamiliar with this new planning policy, which was introduced under the UK Environment Act (2021), you can find an overview here.

Recognising the pivotal role of the Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership (OLNP) in supporting farmers, landowners, developers and local authorities as they implement the policy, both Oxfordshire’s BNG Group and Nature Finance Group have prioritised providing equitable and comprehensive information about the policy to ensure that stakeholders understand the terms, requirements, and potential value of BNG.

In pursuit of this goal, OLNP recently organized an enlightening event aimed at demystifying Biodiversity Net Gain for farmers and landowners. In collaboration with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), we welcomed over 50 participants to the Oxfordshire Golf Hotel near Thame. Under the expert guidance of Tim Field from the North East Cotswolds Farmer Cluster (NECFC), attendees engaged with key speakers, including NFU’s Chief Economist, representatives from the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) and the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT).

The panel discussion and informal exchanges during lunch underscored the critical need for clarity regarding the risks, challenges, and potential rewards associated with BNG. Moreover, it emphasized the collaborative spirit required to transform policy into successful action.

OLNP remains committed to working alongside trusted partners to drive positive change, ensuring that BNG works for Oxfordshire's nature.

You can catch up on a recording of the workshop, here.

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