Transport for London (TfL) within their 2021 Corporate Environment Plan set out biodiversity net gain targets that sought, well ahead of statutory requirements, to deliver on their ambition to “Protect, connect and enhance …green infrastructure”. Temple was commissioned in February 2023 to undertake a feasibility study on the biodiversity offsetting potential of selected Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) and roadsides within TfL ownership. The Study forms part of actions TfL are taking to develop its approach to biodiversity offsetting and to help prepare for the implementation of biodiversity gain across the forward programme.
The Study site surveys used UKHab and Biodiversity Metric 4.0, in addition to a range of existing GiGL data to provide an understanding of the baseline value of the Study sites. The TfL project team were given access to live data via an in-house web application which provided a visual update on survey progress and findings.
LONDON BOROUGH BIODIVERSITY FORUM (LBBF) WERE CONSULTED ON THE STUDY APPROACH, HELPING TO DEVELOP CONSENSUS AROUND:
The Study examined factors influencing site offsetting potential and mechanisms for enhancing that potential, under both core and advanced delivery scenarios on selected railside and roadside sites. Analysis was provided to support understanding the influence of variables including habitat parcel size, habitat type, site type and baseline site habitat and condition. Site specific management interventions and cost estimates were provided along with an options analysis that provided recommendations on practical application of the Study findings. Further opportunities exist to apply the Study approach to TfL’s wider landholdings to support an understanding of the offsetting potential across the entire landholding. Temple also supported TfL by providing CPD sessions.