Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is a critical initiative that seeks to ensure that development in England leaves the natural environment in a measurably better state than before.
It's an opportunity to balance the needs of agriculture with the preservation of natural ecosystems, building more resilient and sustainable farming systems, all while providing new and vital income streams.
At Environment Bank, nature recovery is at the heart of what we do. With a passionate team of ecologists, we work alongside farmers and landowners to transform landscapes, rebuild our vital ecosystem services, and create wonderful places for nature to thrive through Habitat Bank creation.
Habitat Banks from Environment Bank
Our Habitat Bank model is simple; it involves leasing land, typically low-yielding, from which we co-create a Habitat Bank. We are looking for a minimum of 20 hectares, but in some areas of the country, we consider a minimum of 10. We raise Biodiversity Units for developers and take all liability for Unit delivery. Our farmers and landowners retain ownership and management of the land, and receive tax-efficient annual payments, usually between £20,000 and £60,000 per year, and in some cases substantially more. Payments are secure for 30 years – providing a consistent and reliable income.
All capital costs covered
Creating a Habitat Bank is costly and it can be a risk to undertake on your own without guaranteed Unit sales (especially when planning applications can take many years, often without approval). But our model is different.
Using demand analysis and a portfolio of clients across the development and infrastructure sector, Environment Bank creates Habitat Banks aligned to demand. With this valuable insight, alongside secured funding through sustainable investment, we can be confident on Unit delivery. This enables us to forward fund all creation costs, including infrastructure and legal fees where appropriate, extending to training, such as regenerative farming practices, to upskill our land managers.
Our trained ecologists handle habitat design, reporting, and monitoring of the biodiversity uplift. We cover all long-term administrative fees and handle the intricacies of biodiversity net gain (BNG) implementation and Unit delivery, allowing you to focus on the land management activities.
We only take a lease interest in your land, so you retain ownership. We tailor the habitat management plans to suit your existing land strategy and funding sources. We'll help ensure you benefit from current and emerging agricultural schemes while maintaining income from other business activities, such as cattle grazing and hay cuts.
Through sustainable investment, we have raised significant funding to create a network of Habitat Banks across England. When a lease completes, all monies are drawn down and bonded, securing all lease and management payments for the 30-year period. So, regardless of BNG demand or fluctuations in Unit prices, funds are secured.
Payments include a significant onboarding fee, your first year's rent upfront, then annual payments for the 30-year term with annual up-lifts. There is also the options to take all lease payment in one lump sum, providing a significant cash injection into your business.
We expect the natural capital market to expand over the lifetime of the projects, so we provide revenue share options to ensure any additional profits are shared between Environment Bank and you.
Habitat banks are farmed by landowners and tenants as part of their wider agricultural enterprises and grazing platform, with management focusing on stocking type, density, and rotation. This regenerative approach during the Habitat Bank's life enhances the broader holding's productivity, seeking to preserve agricultural status and mitigate any long-term tax implications.
At the end of the 30-year term, you could consider transitioning the land into regenerative farming practices or putting the land into further BNG or government environmental schemes. While no one can say what your options will be in thirty years we can know that you will gain a precious natural capital asset in your Habitat Bank, providing many financially attractive options.
Our goal is to establish a network of Habitat Banks in every area of the country, and we are well on our way. We are committed to restoring biodiversity and are looking for more like-minded landowners and farmers to co-create these crucial habitats.
We have a dedicated team of legal, land, planning, and ecology experts to provide specialist support throughout. This collaborative approach provides long-term peace of mind to our farmers and landowners, offering them the opportunity to enhance their landscapes, maximising environmental and ecosystem value, all while retaining their connection with the land.
So our team can undertake an initial review of the habitats we could create, and the potential income you could expect, please register your land to get started.
GET STARTED WITH HABITAT BANK CREATION
Find out the habitat options for your land and the income you could generate by registering your land or calling our team on 01904 202 990.