Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland


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What you can count towards a development’s biodiversity net gain (BNG)


How developers can use habitat creation or enhancements to count towards their BNG.

If you’re creating or enhancing habitat as part of your development, you may be able to count this towards your BNG.

You can still do this if the habitat required for your development is to:

  • comply with a statutory obligation or policy, for example green infrastructure, environmental impact assessment (EIA) compensation or sustainable drainage
  • provide river basin management plan (RBMP) mitigation and enhancement measures
  • provide mitigation or compensation for protected species or sites, for example nutrient mitigation

If you’re also providing off-site mitigation and compensation for protected sites and species, this may count towards your BNG. You should do at least 10% of your BNG through other activities, for example, on-site habitat creation and enhancement.

If you’re using off-site units, you need to legally secure these for at least 30 years. You must register them before they can count towards your BNG.

You should not count habitat creation or enhancements towards your BNG if you’re already required to do this for:

  • restocking conditions relating to a tree felling licence or a restocking notice
  • marine licensing
  • remediation under the environmental damage regulations

RBMP mitigation and enhancement
You can count RBMP mitigation towards your total BNG. If you’re already providing RBMP mitigation to prevent deterioration as part of your development, you should do at least 10% of your BNG through separate activities.

If you’re providing RBMP enhancement as part of your development, you will not need to do separate activities to do your total BNG.

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MASTS Resources

We’re working behind the scenes to bring you a suite of useful, and updateable, resources including: 

  • Find an expert
  • Find facilities & equipment
  • MASTS Publications


If you would like to be updated when the resources section is live please let us know.