The Biodiversity Metric 3.0 (JP039)

This page includes information about Biodiversity Metric 3.0, together with an accompanying GIS data import facility that can be used with Biodiversity Metric 3.0. The page also includes a link to a test version of a Small Sites Metric – a simplified version of the Biodiversity Metric 3.0 for use on small development sites.


The Biodiversity Metric 3.0 updates and replaces the beta Biodiversity Metric 2.0 (JP029) published in 2019. Biodiversity Metric 3.0 is a biodiversity accounting tool that can be used for the purposes of calculating biodiversity net gain. Biodiversity Metric 3.0 is published with the following information:

- Biodiversity Metric 3.0 calculation tool

-Biodiversity Metric 3.0 user guide (+ short user guide)

-Biodiversity Metric 3.0 technical supplement

-Biodiversity Metric 3.0 summary of key changes from metric 2.0

All of the above can be downloaded at the bottom of this page

We will also be publishing a series of case studies demonstrating the application of Biodiversity Metric 3.0 in different development scenarios. You will be able to download the first batch of these case studies from this web page shortly
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 can be used or specified by any development project, consenting body or landowner that needs to calculate biodiversity losses and gains for terrestrial and/or intertidal habitats. It will be this metric that underpins the Environment Bill’s provisions for mandatory biodiversity net gain in England, subject to any necessary adjustments for application to major infrastructure projects.

Biodiversity Metric 3.0 has been extensively tested. However, we will continue to listen to feedback and will aim to address any errors or problems identified in the materials or function before the Environment Bill’s mandatory biodiversity net gain provisions take effect for Town and Country Planning Act development (following a two year transition period, estimated to be in late 2023).

The metric includes both intertidal and terrestrial habitats. Work is underway to develop an approach to marine net gain for English waters. Defra is currently working towards a consultation on the principles for marine net gain by the end of the year. We will update the metric to allow for a better integration of intertidal and sub-tidal habitats as marine net gain evolves.

Users of the previous Biodiversity Metric 2.0 should continue to use that metric (unless requested to do otherwise by their client or consenting body) for the duration of the project it is being used for as they may find that the biodiversity unit values metric 2.0 generates will differ from those generated by Biodiversity Metric 3.0
Should you wish to get in touch about the Biodiversity Metric 3.0 please email
GIS DATA IMPORT – For Biodiversity Metric 3.0

To enable GIS data to be imported into the Biodiversity Metric 3.0 calculation tool we are testing a new QGIS data import template, a GIS import tool together with a GIS data standard. We have also produced guidance on the use of the QGIS template and GIS import tool. All of these can be downloaded from at the bottom of this page. They are being published in beta format and we would welcome your feedback on these at Metric 3.0 GIS Data Import Survey


A simplified, beta test version, of the Biodiversity Metric 3.0 has been developed specifically for use on small development sites. To download this Small Sites Metric please Click Here


  • Biodiversity Metric 3.0 Update (09/07/21) – Updated to correct an error in the ‘on-site post-intervention – habitat units’ cell in the Headline results tab & a G2 data tab error affecting the offsite rivers element of the detailed results tab
  • Biodiversity 3.0 Update (13/08/21) – We have identified a labelling error for intensive and extensive green roofs. We will correct the error in a subsequent update. In the mean time please use the ‘Intensive green roof’ category for projects looking to create ‘biodiverse green roofs’ i.e. those with a varied topography of between 80 and 150mm and planted and seeded with a wide range of wildflowers and sedums. For other projects seeking to create less biodiverse green roofs that do not have these attributes, please use the Low distinctiveness extensive green roof type

Downloads available for this record

File Uploaded
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 - Calculation Tool, XLSM, 3.9 MB 2021/07/09
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 - Calculation Tool (Macro Free), XLSX, 3.9 MB 2021/07/09
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 - habitat condition assessment sheets with instructions, XLSX, 236.3 KB 2021/07/07
Summary of Changes from Biodiversity Metric 2.0 to Metric 3.0, PDF, 202.7 KB 2021/07/07
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 - User Guide, PDF, 2.5 MB 2021/07/07
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 - Technical Supplement, PDF, 3.0 MB 2021/07/07
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 - Short User Guide, PDF, 1.1 MB 2021/07/06
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 GIS Data Standard, XLSX, 127.8 KB 2021/07/06
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 GIS Import Tool - Beta Test, XLSB, 4.6 MB 2021/07/06
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 QGIS Template and GIS Import Tool Guidance - Beta Test, PDF, 2.6 MB 2021/07/06
Biodiversity Metric 3.0 QGIS Template - Beta Test, ZIP, 634.9 KB 2021/07/06

Related Access to Evidence records

The Biodiversity Metric 2.0 (JP029)
The Environmental Benefits from Nature Tool - Beta Test Version (JP038)
The Small Sites Metric (JP040)