Welcome to our first monthly news summary! I didn’t want to call it a newsletter, ’cos that is so last year.
It has been a busy couple of months for RSK Wilding. Most excitingly, we are on the verge of moving into the implementation phase for some of our clients. This is the stage when we are no longer just assessing the biodiversity net gain (BNG) potential of land but are actually starting to look for land to acquire to deliver it. We’ve had interest from a couple of philanthropists with large pots of cash and exciting ambition and also have a Tier 1 contractor and an internet company showing interest in offsetting their carbon and increasing biodiversity in a really positive way. Given the success with the Tier 1 contractor following a ‘lunch & learn’ continuing professional development session on BNG that we did for them, we have been offering similar sessions to other large-scale contracting companies with a view to helping them to consider strategic offsetting of their biodiversity impacts – or more accurately, those of their clients.
At the end of July, we won some work with a local district council to map the habitats on its landholdings and identify the offsetting constraints and opportunities, so that should be really interesting. We are also working with a well-known electricity Distribution Network Operator (DNO) on a carbon and biodiversity offsetting strategy alongside our friends and colleagues at Nature Positive, and are wrapping up some fairly big pieces of work with a local authority in the North West (a BNG feasibility study for a large strategic development project), a large airport estate management group (assessing the BNG potential at three airports) and a national gas distribution company (carrying out BNG assessments of numerous above-ground gas installations).
We also continue to have plenty of landowners expressing interest and have been tendering frenetically, primarily to carry out BNG feasibility studies to identify and quantify the potential of their land. Solar continues to be a key focus for us, and we are not only preparing biodiversity designs and BNG assessments for a number of solar farms for a large energy company, but are also working with academia to develop research proposals to assess the benefits of habitat creation within and around solar arrays. It is always important to be at the cutting edge of innovation and to lead the way in developing the best techniques for biodiversity enhancement.
Last but not least, I have been flying the flag for RSK Wilding at various conferences and meetings (the Business of Science Conference in Edinburgh, a regenerative agriculture meeting in Dumfries, etc.), but the best event was probably the Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival in Newcastle, where Rich Prew and I carried out an ‘innovation sprint’ (more of a plod at my age) with our colleagues at Binnies to consider how to improve water quality in rivers through a combination of regenerative agriculture and biodiversity enhancement. We will now be developing that into a major funding proposal to Ofwat: very exciting!
We hope you’ve had a wild August,
Jon, Director, RSK Wilding