There is a major funding gap for delivering the UK’s nature recovery ambitions, including meeting the national and international ‘30×30’ target (30% of land protected and managed for nature by 2030). This work aimed to investigate the potential revenue that could be generated over the next ten years through purchase of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) offsets by developers in Oxfordshire, and the extent to which this could contribute to the estimated costs of nature recovery.
We compare potential BNG revenue with the costs of creating sufficient areas of semi-natural habitats in strategic locations (e.g. within Oxfordshire’s Nature Recovery Network) to meet the 30×30 target, and maintaining those habitats for 30 years. These costs are estimated at £800 million, but this excludes the costs of protecting and monitoring the sites, and any additional costs for organisations that wish to purchase land or compensate landowners for lost opportunity costs. Also, these are not the full costs of nature recovery in its broadest sense, as they do not take account of the cost of restoring species populations to sustainable levels. In particular, this analysis does not consider the cost of recovering any species and habitats lost as a result of the development that gives rise to the BNG revenue, i.e. it is assumed that the compensatory habitats created through BNG will successfully replace those lost and will prevent any loss of associated species. The estimates are simply intended to help organisations involved in nature recovery to understand the potential size of the BNG market, to inform future investment plans.
Why do we need to change the way we manage urban grass? Although uniformly short grass used to be seen as a sign of good management, people now are becoming more aware of the value of nature and the need for more nature-friendly management techniques. Frequent mowing removes flowers that provide nectar for bees and butterflies. It removes the eggs that butterflies lay on grass stems, crushes caterpillars and other insect larvae, and can kill or injure other wildlife such as frogs, snakes and voles. Our guidance booklet outlines Best Practice for managing these spaces.
The report offers actionable recommendations for how governments, NGOs, researchers and companies can use AI to support biodiversity conservation. These recommendations were developed following extensive consultation with a broad community of stakeholders
The treescapes guide offers a summary explanation of the treescapes included in the maps and the benefits they bring, together with some case studies of famers and landowners who have put them into action and further resources. It also includes a brief explanation of the mapping rules we have adopted.
The Our Land our Future report sets out the changes in Oxfordshire’s land use that the Oxfordshire Treescape Project believes need to be achieved between now and 2050 if we are to reach Net Zero. Our calculations are based on the Climate Change Committee’s ‘Balanced Pathway’ route which we have then applied to Oxfordshire.
Social and environmental challenges are deeply interwoven. Responding to overlapping concerns about climate change, biodiversity loss and inequality is not merely a scientific or technical enterprise, but also a deeply political, economic, moral and social endeavour.