Nature team highlights
This autumn we were really excited to launch our Nature team. This brings together all of our specialists in planning ecology, natural capital and ecosystem service assessment, corporate biodiversity strategy and BNG policy into one super team, based throughout England, between Manchester, Bristol, London and Sheffield.
We were thrilled to work on a number of innovative and exciting corporate biodiversity policies throughout 2023. This has included work with British Land, Federated Hermes, Abrdn and Landsec, among many others, creating new biodiversity strategies for measurable uplift in biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. It was also fantastic to see the efforts of our clients in meeting their Greengage produced policy objectives, with Grosvenor delivering some amazing wildflower meadows in their historic squares, and GPE improving a number of their existing living roofs as well as retrofitting a particularly nice biodiverse roof at their Woolyard premises.
The team has spent 2023 helping our clients prepare for statutory BNG, through applying our extensive experience of working with the Defra metric and helping guide biodiversity-led design through planning. This has included our work on complex masterplan schemes, including the Silvertown Quays regeneration project.
The team have also been busy running bespoke ecosystem studies and working on evidence based BNG policies for local authorities ahead of the upcoming BNG mandate in early 2024. This has included work with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and City of London, helping to shape their approach to BNG in planning, in response to the Environment Act, 2021. Our policy work has also included running a BBP and Brookfield sponsored programme to develop a UK real estate industry focused translation document for compliance with the newly published Taskforce for Nature related Financial Disclosures guidelines. This is due out early 2024, so watch this space!
Our novel field appraisals have included an extensive assessment of Victoria Park, looking into the current status of key ecological receptors and studying how the music festival events influence biodiversity. This study has also begun to explore how much carbon our urban grasslands are storing, looking into how botanical interest and management regimes may be influencing this. We’ve supplemented this theme through our work with The Royal Parks, in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust, tracking soil carbon throughout Hyde Park and Richmond Park. This crucial research will provide some much needed answers, helping us understand how we can manage urban habitats for optimal carbon outcomes, whilst delivering biodiversity gains.