Biodiversity net gain – Urban Tree habitats

These articles look at the impact of recent guidance following the 2021 publication of Biodiversity Metric 3.0.

Part I – takes an initial look at the metric and the changes made – at the impossibility of calculating the size of Urban Tree habitats under the current guidance.

Part I includes our response to the Small Sites Metric consultation.

Part II – this deals with the issues around the assessment of the condition of Urban Tree habitats. We say that the condition assessment criteria does not work when looking at most trees growing in an urban context.

Part III – this covers the challenges of defining an Urban Tree using the Metric. When is it a tree or a hedge?

In each article we offer a simple solution – the tree information provided using an arboricultural survey prepared in accordance with BS5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction. Recommendations – stem size, canopy area and tree quality – is all that is needed to calculate the size (canopy or RPA) and quality of an Urban Tree habitat. The standard may require some amendment to align it with BNG 3.0, but it is a well-established and practical approach widely used by the arboricultural community whenever development proposals involving trees are being considered.

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