Skip to main content Skip to footer

Heighington Habitat Bank, County Durham

Local planning authority (LPA): Darlington Borough Council

National Character Area (NCA): Tees Lowlands

Biodiversity Units available:

Very high distinctiveness habitats
  • Lowland meadows
Medium distinctiveness habitats
  • Other neutral grassland 
High distinctiveness habitats
  • Ponds (priority habitat) 

Across nearly 20 hectares of arable land and pasture situated 8.5km northwest of Darlington town centre, we are establishing new priority habitats, creating far greater connectivity for native wildlife. We are eagerly transforming the site into a beautiful expanse of wildflower grassland with a network of natural ponds to support a diverse abundance of pondlife.  

Following a thorough assessment of the site's vegetation, wildlife, geology, hydrology, soil chemistry, management history, and landscape connectivity, we determined the best possible habitats to establish and made sure these enhancements would be deliverable. We established an ecological baseline for the site using Defra’s biodiversity metric, so we can clearly demonstrate biodiversity gains over time. 

This assessment enables us to generate a range of high-integrity Biodiversity Unit habitat types that will ensure robust ecological outcomes. We also offer planning support to make sure our Biodiversity Units provide an effective local BNG delivery solution for developers within the Darlington Borough Council LPA area or Tees Lowlands NCA. Our Units are ready to purchase now, subject to availability. 

Adjacent LPAs for cross-boundary coverage:

  • Durham County Council
  • North Yorkshire Council
  • Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Adjacent NCAs for cross-boundary coverage:

  • Vale of Mowbray
  • Pennine Dales Fringe
  • Durham Coalfield Pennine Fringe
  • North York Moors and Cleveland Hills
  • Durham Magnesian Limestone Plateau

Accessible via two public footpaths from the north and south sides of the Habitat Bank, the space is becoming a wonderful haven that the local community can admire at their leisure – observing the beautiful meadows as they develop over the years.  

Traditional lowland hay meadows will benefit the wildlife and increase species diversity. The site has been designed to complement the agricultural character of the surrounding landscape.

As the site falls within an area that suffers from significant risk of surface water flooding, the enhancements our habitats will make to the soil are vital for improving the landscape’s resilience against flooding by improving soil health.  

Our habitat enhancements will truly complement existing hedgerows that surround the site's five fields. Several species of principal importance living in proximity to the Habitat Bank, including skylarks, cuckoos, yellowhammers, lapwings, grey partridges, brown hares, and hedgehogs, will benefit from the new habitats and management changes.

Find out the cost and availability of Biodiversity Units from our Heighington Habitat Bank