Welcome to the Hub!

The Hub is for anyone interested in Biodiversity and Environmental Net Gain issues within the South West and beyond. Here you can access key information and tools relating Biodiversity Net Gain, as well as the extended concept of Environmental Net Gain.

If you want to learn more please contact Michela Faccioli (m.faccioli@exeter.ac.uk)

The Hub has been designed as part of the SWEEP NERC-funded ‘Biodiversity and Environmental Net Gain Project’. This project aims to explore knowledge gaps, social preference trade-offs and delivery mechanisms relating to Net Gain implementation. You can find out more about the work, and the team involved, at the project’s dedicated webpage.

We’d love to hear from you!

Please contact Michela if you are interested in:

  • Finding out more about our project
  • Suggesting additional resources for this Hub

Project lead and contact

Dr Michela Faccioli
SWEEP Impact Fellow
Mattia Mancini
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Professor Ian J Bateman
SWEEP Director

Ian is Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Exeter Business School. As the SWEEP Director, Ian is responsible for ensuring that the Partnership delivers major real-world improvements in the economy, communities and natural environment of the region. This is achieved through the variety of projects which SWEEP undertakes.

Diana Tingley
SWEEP Impact Evaluation Manager

Diana is the Impact Evaluation Manager for SWEEP. Her role is to ensure that the impact of SWEEP is well evidenced and far-reaching – both for individual projects and accumulatively across SWEEP’s portfolio of projects. She has previously worked in consultancy and as an academic; mainly providing advice on fisheries management issues and undertaking secondments to government. When not SWEEP-ing, Diana works as an artist and supports local community projects.

Net Gain in the South West


Key resources

Position papers

SWEEP Publications

Resources / Academic papers

  • Burton M, Rogers A. and Richert C. (2017), Community acceptance of biodiversity offsets: evidence from a choice experiment. Aust J Agric Resour Econ, 61: 95-114. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8489.12151
  • Julia Patricia Gordon Jones, Joseph William Bull, Dilys Roe, Julia Baker, Victoria Frances Griffiths, Malcolm Starkey, Laura Jane Sonter, E.J. Milner-Gulland,
    Net Gain: Seeking Better Outcomes for Local People when Mitigating Biodiversity Loss from Development, One Earth, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2019, Pages 195-201, ISSN 2590-3322, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2019.09.007
  • Bull JW, Strange N. The global extent of biodiversity offset implementation under no net loss policies. Nat Sustain 1, 790–798 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-018-0176-z

Net Gain tools

These publicly available tools can be used to help calculate ‘biodiversity units’, carry out environmental audits and measure and value changes in land-use and ecosystem services.

  • BNG Metric 2.0http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/5850908674228224 – a Biodiversity Net Gain tool measuring ‘biodiversity units’, used to support with planning applications, developed by Natural England.
  • BNG Metric 3.0 – a revised version of Metric 3.0, being developed by Natural England, is due out in Spring 2021.
  • Eco-metric Toolhttps://ecosystemsknowledge.net/ecometric – Defra (the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) and Natural England are working with a consortium led by the University of Oxford to develop the Eco-metric Approach to measure the ability of habitats to deliver ecosystem services. It can be used to measure the net changes in natural capital and the ecosystem services it provides as a result of land-use change or development. Critically it is biodiversity led, with biodiversity net gain a pre-requisite of applying the tool. Information and webinar available.
  • NATURE Toolhttps://ecosystemsknowledge.net/netgain – new tool – Nature Assessment Tool for Urban and Rural Environments (NATURE) – being developed to support the delivery of net gains for the environment in new infrastructure projects and developments. Information and webinar available.
  • Natural Capital Register and Account Tool https://ecosystemsknowledge.net/events/webinars/library – a natural capital register and account tool developed by the Environment Agency to present the value, quantity and quality of natural resources in a place; information and webinar available.
  • ORVal Toolhttps://www.exeter.ac.uk/leep/research/orval/ The Outdoor Recreation Valuation tool (ORVal) was developed by the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy (LEEP) Institute at the University of Exeter with funding support provided by DEFRA. It can be used to understand the benefits derived from accessible greenspace in England and used, for example, as part of strategic or project appraisal, policy evaluation or natural capital accounting.
  • NEVO Toolhttps://www.exeter.ac.uk/leep/research/nevo/ The Natural Environment Valuation Online (NEVO) Tool was developed by the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy (LEEP) Institute at the University of Exeter with support from DEFRA and NERC. NEVO’s primary purpose is to help explore, quantify and make predictions about the benefits that are derived from existing and altered land use across England and Wales.

Investing in Nature for Health

The SWEEP ‘Investing in Nature for Health’ project is working with a range of partners across the South West to address the government’s need for a greater understanding of how investing in the environment can benefit our health and wellbeing.

Although separate from the Net Gain project, there are many valuable resources available through the resource hub – ideal for anyone interested in how investment in the environment can impact on public health and wellbeing. The hub aims to help build a cross-sectoral network of interested stakeholders in the South West and beyond. The hub also includes resources such as:

  • Making the Most of Green Space for People’s Health
  • Alternative funding mechanisms for green space
  • Improving access to greenspace: A new review for 2020


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