Thrings’ recent seminar aimed to equip landowners and farmers with the knowledge to navigate the latest Biodiversity Net Gain regulations.

The event, held at Thrings' Romsey offices on March 6, saw more than 40 attendees from agriculture, development and real estate sectors.

Biodiversity Net Gain is a way for developers to offset the impact of their schemes by boosting the environment elsewhere.

Christopher Sparrow, managing director for the National Capital Advisory and board member for the Environmental Farmers Group (ERG), was among three guest speakers sharing their insights.

Sparrow introduced ERG's efforts to support members in marketing development, implementing environmental initiatives such as Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and Nutrient Neutrality. He also highlighted the benefits of consolidating these initiatives to attract environmental investment.

Nicola French from the Holbury Consultancy Service brought an ecological angle to BNG. She discussed the Statutory Biodiversity Metric, which necessitates developers to offset impacts of their projects in terms of BNG units. She revealed how establishing habitat banks can provide commercial opportunities for landowners.

Hampshire Chronicle: Thrings gave landowners and farmers an insight into what the latest Biodiversity Net Gain regulations mean Thrings gave landowners and farmers an insight into what the latest Biodiversity Net Gain regulations mean (Image: Supplied)

As the last speaker, Peter Harker, from Saffery, covered taxation and accounting for BNG. He highlighted the breaking news of the government's response being published on taxing environmental land management and ecosystem service markets.

Thrings lawyers Harvey Davies and Jonathan Thompson also shared insights. Mr Davies, who is also an active farmer, emphasized the practical considerations landowners should take into account when committing to a BNG scheme on their land. Thompson took an in-depth look into the legal aspects of BNG, particularly Conservation Covenants - their importance, enforcement, and varied stakeholders involved. He gave key advice on what to consider in taking a long-term perspective on BNG.

The seminar addressed the interplay of various aspects - commercial, legal, financial, and ecological - in understanding and adapting to Biodiversity Net Gain regulations.

Mark Charter, partner in the Thrings Agriculture team and chair of the seminar, said: "Biodiversity Net Gain is fast becoming one of the biggest opportunities for farmers and landowners to make use of their estates in a way that helps generate a consistent income.

"With BNG regulations now in force, we are seeing a lot more interest from clients across the country in terms of seeking advice on how it can benefit them, and it was great to be able to host this event and share the latest information and advice."