Guidance: Creating a habitat management and monitoring plan for biodiversity net gain 

Natural England

November 29
14:20 2023

This draft guidance explains what will apply when BNG becomes mandatory. We will continue to update this guidance.

A habitat management and monitoring plan (HMMP) can provide the management and monitoring information for significant on-site enhancements and off-site gains. The HMMP will give a detailed schedule of what you plan to do to:

  • create and enhance habitats for biodiversity net gain (BNG)
  • manage and monitor the habitat for at least 30 years

Your planning condition or legal agreement states when the 30-year period of management and monitoring starts.

Its strongly recommended that you work with an ecologist or competent professional to write your HMMP.

Agreeing your HMMP

For off-site gains

If youre delivering off-site gains, your HMMP should be agreed with one of the following:

  • the local planning authority (LPA) if youre securing gains through a planning obligation (section 106 agreement)
  • a responsible body if youre securing gains with a conservation covenant

For significant on-site enhancements

If youre a developer delivering significant on-site enhancements, youll need to submit the final HMMP with the biodiversity gain plan.

What to include in an HMMP

An ecologist or competent professional will help you understand what and how much detail to include in your HMMP. Youll need to give information about:

  • how you plan to manage the off-site gains or significant on-site enhancements, taking into account any legal restrictions and requirements
  • when and how youll monitor habitats (this will vary for different types of habitat)
  • when and how youll report monitoring results
  • when and how youll review management proposals
  • how youll restore habitats if the management plan is not working

You should discuss with your LPA any extra requirements they might have for your HMMP.

Using the HMMP template

Theres a set of HMMP tools including a template, checklist and companion guide, to help you write your HMMP.

The HMMP template is a guide with a structure to help you show details of your project. You do not need to fill in every section as not all of it will be relevant to you.

The template can be used for projects of all sizes. Its suitable for significant on-site enhancements and for off-site gains.

The templates companion document lists habitat condition and assessment criteria.

Designing your own HMMP

If you design your own HMMP, you can refer to the checklist in the HMMP tools as a reminder for what you need to include.

##Working with an ecologist

If youre using the HMMP template, the ecologist working with you should write a statement of competence in the relevant section. They should have the appropriate habitat specialisms to cover the watercourse element.

Long term management of significant on-site enhancements

For significant on-site enhancements, arrangements will need to be in place to make it clear who is responsible for the 30-year management. Ownership of the land or responsibility for its management could be passed on from the developer through:

  • private contracts
  • charitable third parties
  • transference to the local authority

Give feedback on this guidance by completing a short survey.

Published 29 November 2023

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