Rivers Ecology were commissioned by Sweco UK to complete a series of River Condition Assessment (RCA) surveys along the River Tud in Norfolk. RCA surveys appoint each stretch of river a condition score, based on a number of characteristics, such as the diversity of physical characteristics recorded.
Rivers Ecology subsequently used the RCA survey results to input into a Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) assessment. BNG is a new system that is being put in place to ensure that developments leave the environment in a better state. This is achieved by giving individual sites points depending on the type and condition of habitats present. Any points lost must be offset by the creation or restoration of new habitats, with an overall 10% uplift in points.
We were able to use this data to identify a number of river restoration options, both on-site and on adjacent sites, that would ensure there is an overall gain of habitat as a result of future development.
Our methodology for evaluating this project was approved for use by the Environment Agency, who stated that this should be used as an example of good practice for future assessments.