Biodiversity offsets are conservation activities that are designed to give biodiversity benefits to compensate for losses - ensuring that when a development damages nature (and this damage cannot be avoided or mitigated) new nature sites will be created. Where appropriate, biodiversity offsetting is an option available to developers to fulfil their obligations under the planning system’s mitigation hierarchy.
Defra and Natural England ran six biodiversity offsetting pilot areas from 2012 to 2014. We have published research on the pilots, together with research into international experiences of biodiversity offsetting
We ran a public consultation on biodiversity offsetting in 2013 and have published a summary of the responses we received.
Defra and Natural England will continue to work with interested parties to further our shared understanding of how best to compensate for biodiversity loss when it cannot first be avoided or mitigated, as required by the National Planning Policy Framework.
Previous detailed information on biodiversity offsetting and the pilots is available on the National Archives website.