The Rail Biodiversity Calculator has been developed to enable Network Rail to measure and record the biodiversity within our projects and rail network in a consistent way.
The calculator builds on a methodology developed by the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra). Numerical values are assigned to different areas of ecological habitat based on habitat type, condition, distinctiveness, and difficulty to recreate. This enables the creation of a balanced scorecard to compare the pre-work numerical score with a post-work score. This overall score is based on habitat areas retained, lost or degraded by development, plus areas enhanced or created through mitigation, compensation, or as a last resort offsetting.
Use of the calculator will be mandated on all works valued at more than £20,000 or with work sites more than 150m in length (approximately 1,500 square metres) from March 2019. However, any project or area of works is able to use the calculator to record its impact on biodiversity in order to protect and enhance our environment. Furthermore, the data available from any size of works will help to build a picture of the baseline levels of biodiversity on Network Rail land, and enable better planning and decision making in the future.