Biodiversity offsets threaten both the survival and the meaning of nature.
Propose a get-out clause and – however many warnings and caveats you wrap round it – before long it will be used. This post is about the dangerous new concept the government has seeded in the minds of developers and planners.
The idea is called biodiversity offsetting. It involves trading places: allowing people to destroy wildlife and habitats if, in return, they pay someone to create new habitats elsewhere. In April the UK government launched six pilot projects to test the idea, which would run for two years.