An environmental consultancy has seen a surge in demand for its services in response to new legislation mandating Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) on all new infrastructure and development projects, amidst plans to double its workforce and open a second office in the South East of England.
Established in 2019, Northumberland-based Biodiverse Consulting specialises in supporting companies working in the built environment sector to deliver responsible development, as well as helping them meet their BNG requirements.
Following the passing of the Environment Act 2021 that states biodiversity net gain (BNG) is now a legal requirement for developers in order for them to secure planning permission, founder, Vicki Mordue, has been inundated with enquiries.
Its aim is to marry biodiversity with business, helping protect wildlife and habitats. It also delivers environmental assessments for large and small scale development projects, working with leading companies including Dysart Developments, Taylor Wimpey North Yorkshire, Gleeson Regeneration, Pegasus and a number of Wildlife Trusts.
Ms Mordue explains; “I knew that biodiversity net gain was going to have a big impact on our environment when I started the consultancy – hence the name. It’s a very important part of the Environment Act and will help to restore habitat loss if it is implemented correctly.
“The number of enquiries we have received in relation to BNG has been phenomenal and it’s heartening to see developments being planned the right way. Having worked in the environmental consultancy space for over 20 years, we’re experts at what we do and we simply need more team members to meet demand.
“We currently have a core team of seven and are recruiting for four new roles. We are looking to grow to 14 by the end of the quarter and are on the hunt for ecologists of all levels to help support the business and clients alike.
“We have a great base in Grade II listed Dissington Hall, Northumberland, but since the pandemic we are also hiring remote workers.
“Developers come to us for advice on ecological planning; assessing the land, conducting various wildlife surveys and searching for ways to offset their carbon emissions. We also provide advice on how the incoming BNG credit scheme may work from the Government.
“Businesses that are the most progressive understand that focusing on BNG is not only essential for the survival of our planet but also makes great business sense. Creating spaces that are rich in wildlife and look attractive also attracts a premium house price.
“BNG also offers developers opportunities to use unviable land to create better spaces for nature and get paid to do so. From a practical perspective, without dispensing their BNG obligations effectively, they risk planning permission being refused. We are here to strike that balance between business and the natural environment, creating win-win situations for both.”
Looking to the future Ms Mordue has bold ambitions for the consultancy, she added: “We love being based in the North East and will always have our head office here but by the end of the year, the plan is to open a sister office in the South East and have around 20 people employed in total. It’s a very exciting time.”
Biodiverse Consulting provides environmental services to the likes of Dysart Developments, Taylor Wimpey North Yorkshire, Gleeson Regeneration Ltd, Pegasus and The Wildlife Trusts. It is currently looking for a principal ecologist, senior ecologist, ecologist and graduate ecologist.