Call for sites

Yorkshire Dales Logo

Opportunities for landowners to generate additional income from their land while contributing to nature recovery


Westmorland and Furness CouncilYorkshire Dales

10 October 2023 update: Given the Government’s announcement to delay the requirement for biodiversity net gain until January 2024 and the House of Lords recent decision to reject proposals to remove nutrient neutrality requirements the deadline for Call for Site submissions has been extended until 30th November 2023. Any sites submitted for consideration as Habitat Site Restoration Sites will also therefore be considered for their potential to provide nutrient neutrality mitigation.

Biodiversity Net Gain

From November there will be a legal requirement under the Environment Act for developers to provide at least a 10% net gain in biodiversity. The aim of Biodiversity Net Gain is to ensure that habitats for nature are in a better state than they were before development. Not all Biodiversity Net Gain can be provided on the development site.

Could you help?

All Local Planning Authorities across Cumbria are looking for sites within the county that could be used to create biodiversity net gain habitats. Biodiversity Net Gain sites must be retained in that use for a period of 30 years. Managing a site for Biodiversity Net Gain could therefore become an additional income stream for landowners, with the change in land use and future maintenance funded by Biodiversity Net Gain unit sales alongside other activity such as agriculture.

Examples of what Biodiversity Net Gain on a site could look like include the creation of new woodland, wood pasture and hay meadows, or changes in management to improve species rich grasslands or hedgerows.

For more information on Biodiversity Net Gain, please see the following documents:

  1. Biodiversity Net Gain Brochure NE: V2 BNG Brochure final edits to make (
  2. UKGOV website: Biodiversity net gain - GOV.UK (

Please note this is a new funding option which may or may not prevent you from receiving funding from other schemes. Therefore, when assessing expressions of interest we will work closely with the landowner to ensure that projects are not double funded, which may lead to exclusion from the process as shown in Appendix 1 of the EOI form.

Habitat Site restoration sites

There are four protected Habitat Sites within Cumbria that are in an unfavourable condition due to phosphorous pollution. We are seeking sites within their catchment areas where projects could be delivered to reduce the amount of phosphorous entering the site. This will aid the restoration of the Habitat Site.

  • Esthwaite Water Ramsar
  • River Derwent and Bassenthwaite Lake Special Conservation Area
  • River Eden Special Conservation Area
  • River Kent Special Conservation Area

Maps showing the boundaries of each are available here below (scroll through the maps):

  • Derwent Catchment Area

  • Eden Catchment Area

  • Kent Catchment Area

  • Esthwaite Catchment Area

Following the Government announcement on 30th August 2023, there are currently no plans for any national or local nutrient credit schemes in Cumbria, however suitable sites could potentially be included within any future Restoration Plans or Strategies. The partnership will work together to identify funding opportunities to deliver appropriate projects.

How do I submit a site?

The Call for sites for Biodiversity Net Gain and Habitat Site restoration will be held between

Tuesday 5 September and Thursday 30th November 2023.

Submit an expression of interest

If you would like to submit a site(s) for consideration please use the link below:

Online Form: Online Expression of Interest Form

  • Please complete a separate form for each site you’d like to submit.

Should you require a hard copy of the form sending to you by post please contact: or ring 07775116219 or 07825 456453.

This is a public call for sites meaning that anyone who owns, or has an interest in land, can put sites forward for consideration. Submitting an expression of interest (EOI) only indicates your interest at this stage and does not commit you to take any further action or bind you into any legal agreement with the Authority or their partners.

What happens next?

All submissions will receive and acknowledgement email/letter to say the form has been received.

Biodiversity Net Gain sites

All sites submitted for Biodiversity Net Gain will be reviewed against the exclusion criteria set out in Appendix 1 of the expression of interest form. Those sites that are excluded will be taken no further at this stage. All remaining sites will be assessed against a list of basic criteria by Council Officers from the relevant Local Authority; this will be based on current guidance available at the time.

Not all sites will be taken forward, this decision will be made based on the data available and the suitability of the site for the intended use. We are particularly looking for those sites that could provide multiple benefits such as those that provide flood risk reduction and/or recreational benefits while supporting farm diversification.

Habitat Site Restoration

The potential for such sites to contribute towards Habitat Site restoration will be considered through the development of any future Protected Site Strategy or Restoration Plan. At this stage there are no timeframes for the production of these documents however the partner Authorities are keen to restore our Habitat Sites at pace and are working with partners to identify the most appropriate means for doing so.

Note: The Lake District National Park Authority is coordinating this exercise on behalf of all the Cumbrian Local Planning Authorities. The expressions of interest can relate to land throughout the county.

Further Information:

For further information on the call for sites, phosphorous pollution, BNG or Habitat Site restoration please contact: or Tel: 07775116219 or 07825 456453

For further information on BNG and the planning process please contact the relevant authority:

Cumberland Council:

Lake District National Park Authority:

Westmorland and Furness Council:

Yorkshire Dales National Park:

Cumberland Council: 


Email (Allerdale area)

Email (Carlisle area)

Email (Copeland area)

Lake District National Park Authority:



Westmorland and Furness Council: 



Yorkshire Dales National Park: