Environment Bank and Essex County Council led one of six government pilots for two years, ending April 2014. Partners, including Local Planning Authorities, Essex Wildlife Trust and the Mineral Products Association worked hard to bring developments and conservation projects forward for testing. To take advantage of this effort past the life of the government pilot, Essex continues to apply the mechanism as it is likely the county will continue to see high levels of economic growth with a great need for sustainable development.
Sites for compensation are steered by an ‘offsetting strategy’, developed during the pilot, that ensures habitat restoration and creation is focused where it is most needed. Namely, sites are chosen within Essex Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscape areas or within the Greater Thames Marshes Nature Improvement Area, while addressing local authority and community desires to keep sites close to developments so that benefits are felt locally.