For those new to the concept, Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is an approach to terrestrial development and/or land management that aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state, mitigating any potential ecological damage resulting from a new development.
As of November 2023, it will become mandatory for developers in England to demonstrate that their planned development leaves biodiversity in a measurable better state than before the development took place.
The following graphic helps to explain the impact on nature that construction works and buildings have on the environment and how this can be minimised using BNG techniques.
As golf clubs are rich with natural resources, they can use this to either offset their own developments, or partner with developers who have underutilised areas used for BNG which could raise funds for further golf course and clubhouse improvements.
For golf clubs looking to transform their golf course and facilities, the implications are considerable. Any course transformations will need to demonstrate the BNG legislation is being adhered too.
On 19th May 2023, a team from EMEC met with representatives from 12 golf clubs in Leicestershire and Rutland at Ullesthorpe Golf Club to explain BNG funding opportunities and what it might mean for golf clubs.
By using Ullesthorpe Golf Club as a case study example, EMEC demonstrated to the club managers and directors in attendance via a visual map, the methodology of how the land would be assessed using the DEFRA metric scale and how plans could be set out to achieve “biodiversity gain” which would be beneficial for not only wildlife but for those playing the golf course.
Throughout our presentation, EMEC highlighted several grassland, woodland and pond areas that could be enhanced in order to create a more biodiverse landscape. The presentation was followed by extensive, serious questioning, and the audience clearly welcomed the direct, authoritative answers being provided by the EMEC team.
Commenting on the opportunity to sit with leaders from Leicestershire and Rutland’s golf community, Ben Jones, Senior Project Manager at EMEC said “Golf clubs occupy around 2 per cent of the UK’s land area. They can be a crucial ally in our battle to increase the nations biodiversity. Here at EMEC we are keen to inform golf clubs of the opportunities to be gained by embracing biodiversity net gain.”
If you would like to incorporate more biodiversity within your golf club, or would like to learn more about the funding opportunities available, please contact Ben Jones or fill out our online enquiry form here.
To view the full presentation EMEC gave, please click here.