Chesterfield News

Pioneering habitat bank to support biodiversity opens in Chesterfield

A wildlife project near Chesterfield has become the first in Derbyshire to be secured by new legislation to support biodiversity.

Wild Whittington has just become the first habitat bank in the county with a Section 106 agreement with the local planning authority, Chesterfield Borough Council.

Located 5km north of Chesterfield town centre, the Wild Whittington habitat bank allows developers and planning authorities to source off-site Biodiversity Net Gain units to support development schemes and local nature. The site is owned by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and managed by Wild Solutions, the trust’s in-house ecological consultancy and ecosystem services provider. Wild Solutions will be bringing forward further sites across the county in the weeks ahead.

Following a delay to the original deadline in November 2023, Biodiversity Net Gain has now become mandatory. In order to gain planning permission, developers will be required by law to deliver a minimum of 10% net gain in biodiversity with newly created or enhanced habitats secured for at least 30 years, on all new developments.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has been protecting and restoring local nature, and helping people access nature-rich spaces on their doorstep, for over 60 years. The organisation believes developers and Local Authorities can use BNG to benefit nature and local communities, but the right approach is essential to achieving this.

Through a process called habitat banking, the Trust is taking a nature led approach to BNG by creating high quality and resilient habitats, delivered in the best place for nature, before the loss occurs.

These new spaces for nature are accessible for the public to enjoy and will provide additional ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, flood risk management and water quality improvements. Wild Solutions can call on 100 expert staff in Derbyshire, making us the most effective and experienced partner for BNG in the county.

The sites will be managed in perpetuity for nature, under the stewardship of Derbyshire’s leading conservation charity and all the profits generated through the Wild Solutions consultancy will be reinvested to secure the best outcomes for nature and have a greater impact for wildlife.

Matt Buckler is Director of Natural Solutions at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and oversees the Trust’s commercial consultancy, Wild Solutions. He says:

“This legislation has brought much needed focus to nature-based solutions and how they can help meet environmental and climate emergencies. BNG becoming mandatory is great news for nature and offers a significant opportunity for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to leverage its expertise to support this new approach, while remaining true to its charitable status and strategic goals.

“Like all nature based solutions, it has to be done right to have the true impact and that is where the passion, experience, skills and dedication of the Trust are essential. We understand the challenges BNG will raise for developers, landowners, LPAs and other stakeholders, and we are well placed to support them with the bespoke, well-rounded solutions they need now, whilst making more space for nature and helping its recovery.”

For more information visit

To discuss your current or future biodiversity objectives, contact Phil Fermor ( on 07894 747144

Wild Whittington

Josh Marsh

Destination Chesterfield Coordinator (Investment and Marketing)

Email Josh
Wild Whitington

Keep up to date

Dont miss out on all the latest news, updates & special offers.

Signup to our newsletter