Announcing our new Building with Nature Assessors

20th March 2024
Announcing our new Building with Nature Assessors

Last month, the UK made achieving a minimum of 10% Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) mandatory for all major developments. It’s a big step towards creating sustainable developments and requires a conscious effort to ensure wildlife habitats will be in a measurably better state than they were before development.

One way of securing on site BNG is through the Building with Nature (BwN) initiative; a rigorous, independent framework for creating high quality green and blue infrastructure in developments. The Building with Nature standards define ‘what good green infrastructure looks like’, helping create better places for people and wildlife.

We’re proud to announce the addition of six qualified Building with Nature assessors who are available to advise on your projects — Ben Kirkby, Cath Masri-Stone, Claire Symons, Clare Billany, Catherine Philips and Dan Hutchinson.

All our assessors are part of our Landscape Architecture team and will be able to provide BwN assessor services, alongside our Head of Landscape, Isabelle Carter, who is also certified.

Why follow Building with Nature standards?

Building with Nature is the first green infrastructure benchmark for the UK built environment. With benefits for climate adaptation, nature’s recovery and people’s wellbeing, the standards framework provides guidance for delivering good quality green infrastructure at each stage of the development process.

By prioritising onsite protection, enhancement and integration of green features seamlessly into designs, clients and developers can gain confidence in not only producing a high-quality sustainable scheme but also in meeting Biodiversity Net Gain requirements.

The assessor’s role

Building with Nature assessors play a vital role in advising project teams on creating nature-positive developments. While they don’t influence design directly, they provide guidance on meeting the standards and flag areas needing further attention.

It is the role of the Approved Assessor to support applicants to interpret the BwN Standards Framework within the context of the project or policy document and collect evidence to support an application for the Award. The Approved Assessor then submits their Assessment to the BwN Audit Team, who evaluate it and make the decision whether to give the Award.

The assessor can also provide an initial review to assess the constraints, expected requirements, and suitability of a project to achieve the BwN Benchmark.

Creating better places for people and wildlife

Developers find that getting accredited by Building with Nature can:

  • reduce planning uncertainty by demonstrating they are addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency in their projects.
  • help to engage local communities and ensure that wellbeing is at the heart of the design.
  • help to maximise the site’s BNG to achieve or surpass the BNG targets.
  • ensure that the scheme delivers climate resilient water management.
  • contribute to meeting corporate social and environmental goals.

If you’re interested in learning more, or are looking to pursue the Building with Nature accreditation for your development, our assessors are available to act as independent consultants, so please reach out to them.


For further ideas on how to increase biodiversity within your projects, here is our step-by-step resource to guide built environment professionals through designing for nature.

Download the Biodiversity Design Guide here.

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