Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is committed to working with the Local Authority, developers and their consultants across Wiltshire and Swindon to identify strategic locations for mitigating biodiversity lost through development. Opportunities to do so are carefully evaluated on a case by case basis to identify where project delivery will contribute to the Nature Recovery Network and nature’s recovery, which is core to our objectives. We have a strategic commitment to build partnerships to increase our effectiveness and maximise the outcomes for wildlife through the planning system.

We recognise the use of the most recent Biodiversity Metric (version 3.1 as of June 2022- more info here) as being the standard tool for evaluation of losses and gains, and that this is currently the most accessible measure of equivalence. However we also appreciate that this metric may not fully reflect the added value of nature areas that contribute to landscape connectivity or social cohesion so see it as only one aspect of project validation.

As a Trust, we encourage projects to follow the mitigation hierarchy of avoid, minimise and restore. We only work with projects where this hierarchy has been rigorously followed before biodiversity offsetting is considered. If offsite mitigation is required, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust will work with developers to achieve the protection and enhancement of nature, where they commit to a minimum biodiversity net gain of 10%. This requirement is set to become law in 2023, under the new Environment Act, at which point WWT will review its position to retain a ‘gold standard’ market approach.

For further information or project proposals, please contact Nature Recovery Champion Lucy Bates ([email protected])