5 tips for purchasing high-quality BNG units 


If you work for a local planning authority, developer or utility, Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) units will be on your mind. With so much uncertainty still circulating around BNG’s rollout, you may be tempted to opt for the cheapest provider you can find. But purchasing the wrong BNG units could add significant risk to development projects. 

With that in mind, we’ve created a simple checklist that will help you understand the things to look out for when searching for high-quality BNG units. 

  • Scale of operation. BNG delivered on a larger scale is often more ecologically viable. That’s because larger habitats often offer more scope for healthy species populations and more resilience to damage and disturbance. All of which adds up to less risk and a more secure investment. 
  • Varied habitat units. Find a provider that offers a variety of habitat units in one place that can potentially supply multiple projects. This helps developers reduce the legwork of repeated negotiations and contracts, creating more valuable long-lasting relationships. 
  • Credible BNG experts. Seek registered providers of habitat units who have experience working on ecosystem restoration. Procuring units generated through existing nature-recovery projects is a great way to avoid the costs associated with mis-sold units. 
  • Long-term security. With much of the legal framework still developing, seek extra security by looking for responsible landowners who can commit to delivering and monitoring the habitat for 30+ years. This will give you added confidence your BNG units are secure in the long term. 
  • Thinking beyond biodiversity uplift. As well as meeting the necessary planning stipulations, the right BNG units can deliver more than a biodiversity uplift. Look for BNG projects that provide powerful community benefits such as access, education and volunteering opportunities. The co-benefits can generate stories worth sharing to future customers and stakeholders – be that through marketing communications or annual ESG reporting. 

Find a provider that offers a variety of habitat units in one place that can potentially supply multiple projects. 

A final guiding principle 

BNG units have 30-year time horizons. So let this fact guide you. Does the provider have the right commitment and expertise in habitat creation and biodiversity restoration? And are you confident they will still offer that commitment 30 years from now. 

Belmont is a regional BNG hub in the South West. So if you’re planning on purchasing high quality BNG units across a range of habitats, we can start you on the journey today. 

Our land, our projects. 

Scrub and grassland habitat in rewilding project
Scrub and grassland habitats