Nature brings people together and creates a sense of identity and belonging. It feeds our families, cools and cleanses our cities, and generates financial value in a myriad of ways. Despite this, we as a society have let nature decline, and as a result species, habitats and communities are under threat. We want to reverse this, and create places with more nature afterwards than before.
In May 2017, under our business strategy Our Vision, the Berkeley Group committed to creating a net biodiversity gain on all new developments. We have based our methodology on industry leading best practice to ensure that we can measure, implement and monitor net gain on our developments. For further details of our methodology, please see below.
We consider net gain from the early design stages, to make sure that we are retaining and creating the right habitats. To help our design teams achieve this we have developed The Nine Concepts to inform our approach and we work with our ecologists, landscape architects and Local Wildlife Trusts to make this happen.
We use The Nine Concepts, developed in conjunction with The Ecology Consultancy, to inform and facilitate discussion about biodiversity and achieving a net gain across multiple stakeholders in the early design stages.
Click here to find out more about each of The Nine Concepts.
Green infrastructure involves thinking strategically around how green and blue spaces can be designed to be multi-functional.
In order to minimise surface water run-off swales have been created at Wye Dene to manage the excess water. The swales provide an amenity feature for the development and have been planted to provide habitats for wildlife.
This is about the role that nature plays in strengthening the sense of place.
At Orchard Grove, Yarnton additional fruit trees have been planted to enhance an existing traditional orchard, a habitat listed in the local Biodiversity Action Plan.
To create a net biodiversity gain on a development, we follow four key steps:
To enable us to measure biodiversity we worked with leading environmental consultants to develop a biodiversity toolkit which enables our internal teams, along with their ecologist and landscape architect, to calculate, enhance and manage the biodiversity on site.
The calculator within the toolkit is based on the Defra metrics that were developed for their Biodiversity Offsetting trials. This process encourages us to follow the mitigation hierarchy to retain the most valued habitats on site and then create new habitats which provide the greatest biodiversity benefit whilst also offering amenity benefits.