Planet Positive Opportunities

21.6.21 4 MINUTE READ

NCSI video thumnail pink button

Find out how you can make the most of sustainable investment opportunities with attractive financial returns.

It's not just about us, it's about our kids’ futures, and it's something that is going to affect all of us. So there is a real imperative to achieve our net zero targets, and go further if we can.

Biodiversity Net Gain

The big change that's happened recently is the Environment Bill, and when that becomes law, it will bring about the requirement for 10% net gain on all new developments.

Trimley Marshes nature reserve was created as compensatory habitat for the latest phase of dock expansion in the early 1990s. It's about 77 hectares of open water and reedbed – a really important site for various bird species.

Biodiversity net gain is about numerically quantifying the on-site biodiversity pre-development, and then the biodiversity that remains after the development and ensuring that the net gain is delivered as part of that process.

In many cases developers are actually working in anticipation of net gain being a policy requirement to the point at which their planning applications are determined, so there's actually a lot happening already in that space.

Biodiversity net gain is relevant to three main groups. First of all, conservation NGOs - we do a lot of work for wildlife trusts and others in delivering the physical habitat creation and ongoing management; then also for landowners who are providing land for that - we’re helping create large biodiversity net gain initiatives where they can be done at scale and very cost effectively. And then thirdly, the developers -we're acting for a number of developers looking to secure solutions to deliver both on site and off site biodiversity net gain.

Lots of our institutional investor clients are not only increasingly interested in understanding their own environmental footprint, but really want to try and explore some of these opportunities where they can derive quite attractive financial returns from these environmentally positive investment initiatives.

We're really in a unique position to be able to bring together an understanding of ecological objectives, but also we have an understanding of the economics of land management and the contractual risks and liabilities associated with delivering these large schemes.

The Oxford to Cambridge Arc is a particularly interesting area where the Arc Leaders Group has actually gone beyond what is anticipated to be the national minimum statutory requirement of 10% net gain, and they're suggesting that 20% net gain could be delivered. It does provide an incredible opportunity to dedicate some of that resource to delivering very high quality green infrastructure.

Natural Capital and the carbon market

The voluntary carbon market is the marketplace for bringing recognised carbon credits, where a purchaser of these carbon credits can use those towards their own net zero journey through new woodland creation and the restoration of degraded peatland.

It's a really exciting time it's accelerated so much over the last 12 months, there's a huge amount of interest, and a huge amount of demand for carbon credits. If we are, on a global level, to reach our climate change targets, this marketplace has to multiply by 15 times in the next 10 years, and that will take it from a $300m to a $50bn industry by 2030.

Bidwells is a firm with over 180 years of heritage and has a history built on the back of long-term relationships with our clients. We manage huge areas of England, and in Scotland we’re involved in the management of over 1m acres of land, and around £0.5bn worth of sustainably managed forestry.

We see great potential in nature-based solutions and delivering carbon credits from these projects, and that's where we see ourselves, acting as a key link between the incoming investors and corporates and our extensive landowning network.

We're already involved in a huge number of projects, and we only really want to be involved in those where we can add some value to the process. But we're always happy to have conversations with people.


Get in touch


Roland Bull

Partner, Head of Rural Investment

Roland oversees rural investment property worth £1bn for the UK’s oldest landowners. He’s also helping shape the country’s newest and most sustainable investment markets.

Read more

Search Bidwells