Green Infrastructure

W ild Service can support all of your green infrastructure needs with our team of experienced and suitably qualified ecologists.

What is green infrastructure?

Green infrastructure describes all the natural features in urban and rural landscapes. It explains how they are connected and how their interconnectivity helps to deliver benefits for wildlife, people and the wider landscape. Natural features included in the definition of green infrastructure include natural and semi-natural areas, greenspace, parks, gardens, open space, green or wildlife corridors, rivers, canals, woodland, wetlands and trees/hedgerows.

Why is understanding green infrastructure important for developers?

P lanning policy requires that all new development schemes deliver a net biodiversity gain through ecological enhancement of the development site and that you consider how your development will increase levels of health and wellbeing for existing and future communities; and how your scheme will improve the local economy by creating attractive places to live and work. Wild Service can help you address each of these points by ensuring you design and deliver a high quality environment.

Green Infrastructure Products

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ild Service can help you with your green infrastructure design and design appraisal. We can prepare bespoke Landscape and Ecological management plans that are tailored to meet the requirements of the project, while ensuring that habitats are maintained, created and managed to enhance the ecological value of a site.  Such plans can also be used to inform Biodiversity Net Gain assessments, which is also something that our team can advise on.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) can be defined as developments that leave biodiversity in a better state than before and an approach where developers work with ecologists, local government, land owners, wildlife groups and other stakeholders, in order to support their priorities for conservation. In order to achieve positive Biodiversity Net Gain, it is essential that developers engage an ecologist and landscape designer early on in the scheme to ensure that sufficient land can be made available to achieve positive net gain. This involves undertaking phase 1 habitat and protected species surveys as well as producing landscape plans to inform the DEFRA BNG metric, which serves as a proxy for recognising the negative impacts on habitats arising from a development and calculating how much new or restored habitat, and of what types are required to deliver sufficient net gain. It should be noted that biodiversity net gain still relies on the application of the mitigation hierarchy to avoid, mitigate or compensate for biodiversity losses, and is additional to these approaches.

Our consultants have close links to the Building with Nature (BWN) accreditation scheme, which provides a framework of quality standards, an assessment and accreditation service, and national awards recognising the design and delivery of high quality green infrastructure. BWN draws from evidence and good practice guidance, design of a high-quality green infrastructure at each stage of the development process, from planning and design, through to long-term management and maintenance. The BWN standards can assist with the planning and development of new places and communities. BWN has an Expert Standards Board whose role is to refresh the standards and update them with changes in legislation, policy and practice. As a Building With Nature Assessor, Elizabeth assesses projects under the Building with Nature standards that are linked to well-being, water and wildlife as outlined in the picture above.