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The Biodiversity Metric 4.0 (JP039)

Biodiversity Metric 4.0 is a biodiversity accounting tool that can be used for the purposes of calculating biodiversity net gain. This page includes published information about Biodiversity Metric 4.0, an update to the previously published biodiversity metric 3.1 (April 2022).

Biodiversity Metric 4.0 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.

Work is underway to develop an approach to marine net gain for English waters. We may update the metric to allow for a better integration of intertidal and sub-tidal habitats as marine net gain evolves.

Users requiring the Small Sites Metric can find it Here


Biodiversity Metric 4.0 includes the following, which can be downloaded from the bottom of this page:

  • Calculation tool (macro enabled and macro free versions)
  • User guide
  • Technical Annex 1 (Condition Assessment Sheets and Methodology)
  • Technical Annex 2 (Technical Information)


The following additional tools and resources are also available:

  • QGIS template and GIS import tools and guidance
  • A summary of changes from metric 3.1
  • Case studies to inform use of the Biodiversity Metric (updated periodically)


This site will be updated periodically with case studies to inform the use of the Biodiversity Metric.


Natural England continues to welcome technical suggestions and feedback on Biodiversity Metric 4.0 via our mailbox

Please note that whilst it may not be possible to respond to all enquiries individually, all suggestions and feedback will be logged and considered.


Users of previous versions of the Biodiversity Metric 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. This is because users may find that certain biodiversity unit values generated in biodiversity metric 4.0 will differ from those generated by earlier versions.

Visit the Archive Site for previously published versions of the Biodiversity Metric


28/03/2023 – Rounding tolerances of 0.01 ha have been added within the area crosscheck flag
20/04/2023 – A bug which impacted the trading rule summary for hedgerows has been fixed.
04/07/2023 – Case studies added and condition assessment sheet cells unlocked

Downloads available for this record

File Uploaded
Biodiversity Metric 4.0 Calculation Tool - macro-enabled, XLSM, 5.6 MB 2023/04/20
Biodiversity Metric 4.0 Calculation Tool - macro-disabled, XLSX, 5.5 MB 2023/04/20
Biodiversity Metric 4.0 - User guide, PDF, 3.5 MB 2023/03/24
Summary of Changes Biodiversity Metric 3.1 to 4.0, PDF, 125.2 kB 2023/03/24
Biodiversity Metric 4.0 - Technical Annex 1 - Condition Assessment Sheets and Methodology, XLSX, 388.3 kB 2023/07/04
Biodiversity Metric 4.0 - Technical Annex 2 - Technical Information, PDF, 1.4 MB 2023/03/24
GIS Import Tool, XLSB, 5.1 MB 2023/03/24
Biodiversity Metric 4.0 and Small Sites Metric - GIS data standard, XLSX, 74.4 kB 2023/03/24
Biodiversity Metric 4.0 - Short data input guide, PDF, 1.6 MB 2023/03/24
Biodiversity Metric 4.0 and Small Sites Metric - QGIS template and GIS import tool User Guide, PDF, 2.3 MB 2023/03/24
Biodiversity Metric 4.0 - QGIS Template (zipped), ZIP, 867.6 kB 2023/03/24
Case Study 1 - Residential Development - BM4.0, PDF, 464.9 kB 2023/07/04
Case Study 2 - Port development - BM4.0, PDF, 284.7 kB 2023/07/04
Case Study 3 - River Restoration - BM4.0, PDF, 253.6 kB 2023/07/04
Case Study 4 - Cabling for Offshore Wind Development - BM4.0, PDF, 309.6 kB 2023/07/04
Case Study 5 - Rewilding - BM4.0, PDF, 677.4 kB 2023/07/04

Related Access to Evidence records

ARCHIVE SITE for the Biodiversity Metric 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 and the beta test version of the Small Sites Metric
The Environmental Benefits from Nature Tool - Beta Test Version (JP038)
The Small Sites Metric (Biodiversity Metric 4.0) (JP040)