David is chairman and founding owner of Environment Bank which he set up in 2006 to bring the concept of biodiversity offsetting and biodiversity net gain (BNG) to the UK. Specialising in biodiversity accounting, use of metrics, and establishing habitat banks to generate conservation credits.
David’s concept of biodiversity compensation, ensuring developers and corporates provide net gains to biodiversity, has been embedded into the government’s 25-year Environment Plan, the National Planning Policy Framework and the Environment Act 2021. Under the Act biodiversity net gain becomes a mandatory legal requirement of the planning and development control system in which developers must provide a minimum 10% uplift in the pre-development biodiversity baseline as a result of their development.
David was a founding member of Natural England and Deputy Chair until 2016 and a member of the government’s Ecosystem Markets Taskforce. He is a Board Trustee of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, chairman of Plantlife International, a Commissioner with the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission and chair of the Northern Upland Chain Nature Partnership.
A passionate conservationist and wildlife photographer, David lives on his family farm, dedicated to conservation in Nidderdale and Swaledale, North Yorkshire. David has a doctorate in ecology from the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.