Specialist biodiversity restoration firm Environment Bank has appointed an accomplished business development director to head up the new sales team as part of its substantial recruitment drive following increasing enquiries from landowners and developers to establish Habitat Banks.

Helen Wyman has taken on the role to establish a strong team to help advance the delivery of biodiversity net gain (BNG) units from Habitat Banks to developers across the country, that will need to be secured on land for at least 30 years, prior to the November 2023 legal requirement deadline that all planning permissions granted in England will have to deliver at least 10% biodiversity net gain under the 2021 Environment Act.

Created by Environment Bank, Habitat Banks are parcels of land typically upwards of 20 hectares in size that create a significant uplift in biodiversity.

Helen brings with her a wealth of experience having worked in the agricultural and associated industries for over 15 years including having previously worked in the ecology department at Natural England, and for ADAS as an agriculture and renewable consultant.

She has worked with landowners across the UK to set up their sustainable arm of their business, as well as with developers to source land to develop on. During her time at Future Biogas, Helen helped develop the world’s first sequestration of CO2 projects from biogas plants in the UK which created negative carbon credits and unsubsidised green gas.

Last year, Helen was honoured with the title of a Nuffield Farming Scholar, only one of 18 each year to be selected, with her specialist subject in mentoring farming communities.

Since joining Environment Bank at its head office in York, Helen has been working with the senior leadership team to drive the commercial aspects of the business, keeping the landowner, developer and natural world at the heart of what they do.

She said: “As a farmer’s daughter and qualified Plant Scientist (BSc), I have always shared a fervency for protecting the natural world and the important role farmers play as stewards. It is an honour to be joining a team that not only shares the same passion for ecology and biodiversity restoration but are committed to ethically developing the most robust strategy roll out that benefits both landowner and developer in helping to do so legally to protect our planet.”

Environment Bank is the UKs market leader specialising in BNG Units, which under the Environment Act 2021 are mandatory for new developments and infrastructure projects. It works with landowners across England to identify parcels of land where a significant uplift in biodiversity can be made through creating Habitat Banks, providing an income to landowners from Environment Bank who then sell the BNG Units to developers..

Founder of Environment Bank, ecologist professor David Hill, CBE commented: “Helen brings a wealth of experience to help us deliver ethical solutions to develop and oversee the creation of biodiversity net gain units for landowners and developers looking to restore nature, protect their land and generate an income from it.
“Her commercial expertise and strong dedication to making a difference for the planet is admirable and we are delighted to have her on our team.”