Biodiversity Offsetting

Warwickshire County Council is seeking the support of landowners as it leads the way on considerate development and biodiversity offsetting.

Warwickshire County Council is looking for landowners who are interested in entering agreements to provide biodiversity enhancements to compensate for losses that have occurred because of development work, such as the building of new homes, roads or schools.

Warwickshire’s Biodiversity Offsetting model is a last resort process where conservation activities compensate for biodiversity loss resulting from development in a way that can be measured. Such conservation activities can be:

  • Tree planting
  • Wildflower meadow creation; and/or
  • Wetland creation and enhancements.

In Warwickshire, biodiversity offsetting is used to deliver effective, widespread biodiversity gain for the natural environment to minimise impacts from climate change by reconnecting existing wildlife areas. This allows species to move through Warwickshire, whilst also being easy and pragmatic for developers to understand and make good their losses.

Any landowners who would like to get involved in biodiversity offsetting through the provision of land are encouraged to get in touch with WCC via email: planningecology@warwickshire.gov.uk  

This scheme is the latest in almost a decade of biodiversity offsetting in the region. Back in 2012-2014, the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull area were chosen as a pilot to trial biodiversity offsetting, after which all the local planning authorities agreed to continue with offsetting on all minor and major planning applications.

As a result, developers in Warwickshire are required to provide compensation for biodiversity loss under planning policy. This approach and has been so successful that it will form the basis of a national model that will be enshrined in law and rolled out by DEFRA later in the year.

Mark Ryder, Strategic Director for Communities, said: “Warwickshire has some outstanding areas of wildlife and wildflower biodiversity, but these are often quite fragmented. Our biodiversity offsetting gives an opportunity to join up these areas and enhance the overall biodiversity of the county’s natural environment.

“Ensuring that our natural environments are not lost or diminished through development activities is a key element of Warwickshire County Council’s response to the climate change emergency and we are rightly proud that our model and methodology for biodiversity offsetting will be rolled out across the country later in the year.”

Enhancing biodiversity is not limited to planning authorities, developers or landowners. Warwickshire schools, colleges and community groups can also apply for a free tree-planting kit from the Woodland Trust or other grants such as Biffa Awards or the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, which will help to create a variety of new wooded areas and habitats for animals as well as help the UK to meet its 2050 carbon net-zero target.

Find out more: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/news/article/1458/1-million-trees-in-the-ground-apply-for-a-tree-planting-pack-from-the-woodland-trust

For more information about how Warwickshire County Council is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency and how you can get involved, visit: www.Warwickshire.gov.uk/theclimateemergency

You can sign-up to the Climate Emergency Newsletter here:  http://eepurl.com/hrk-zf

Published: 10th May 2021