Landowners can be a positive force for nature’s recovery and we want to recognise and celebrate those businesses which have achieved excellence. The Wildlife Trusts Biodiversity Benchmark is the only standard that certifies management of your business landholdings for wildlife.
Biodiversity, also called biological diversity, is defined as the variety of life found in a place on Earth or, often, the total variety of life on Earth. A term that is often used inter-changeably with wildlife, biodiversity encompasses the entire plant and animal kingdoms and has become a focus of concern locally and globally, protection and enhancement of biodiversity has developed into the objective of international bodies, environmental charities, businesses and governments. With that focus, an unprecedented need has come about to measure biodiversity so that impacts, positive and negative, can be assessed.
The concept of a Biodiversity Management Standard for business was first identified by Middlemarch Environmental in 1999 who developed the idea with the University of Aston in Birmingham and a grant from the Natural Environmental Research Council. From this a concept for a ‘biodiversity management standard’ emerged as a complement to ISO14001 environmental management systems. The Benchmark would test the design and implementation of a business’s management systems to achieve continual biodiversity enhancement and protection on their landholdings. The term ‘Biodiversity Benchmark’ was born.
The Biodiversity Benchmark was launched at the Environment Agency’s Environment 2003 conference and adopted by The Wildlife Trusts (now RSWT) as its assessment body, a role that it still performs today. The scheme dovetails with RSWT national strategies such as Living Landscapes, the Wilder Future campaign and Nature Recovery Networks.
In 2019 there were 52 sites with over 8,600ha of land under Biodiversity Benchmark management. It has been applied to large standalone aggregate extraction, power transmission and landfill sites and major airports as well as smaller light industrial/commercial sites, public parks and large property portfolios. The Benchmark can equally be used to endorse property developments looking to demonstrate biodiversity in the value chain and as a monitoring/enforcement tool for planners.
At Middlemarch, we believe that we can achieve more for wildlife by working together, everyone has a part to play in achieving nature’s recovery. We have award-winning Biodiversity Benchmark Assessors and our ecologists work with our clients to prepare for Benchmark assessment by third parties.
Further information, including a list of Biodiversity Benchmark sites, is held on the scheme’s web site: