HABITAT BANK CREATION Q&As
How can habitat creation help landowners and farmers to diversify their income?
How does a Habitat Bank help me replace my farm subsidy?
We are the only company in the UK offering to fully-fund the leasing of land for biodiversity conservation through Habitat Bank creation. We are backed by a funding partner, and this means we can guarantee an income for a minimum 30 year term which starts as soon as the lease is signed.
This income comes through leasing land from you as well as paying you to manage the Habitat Bank over the 30 year term, on our behalf. We want to work closely with you to develop a management plan that is bespoke to your land and that works for you and for nature.
What are the benefits to me of habitat creation?
There are lots of benefits. It allows you to guarantee your income for a 30 year period. It spreads your risk across your business, providing you with an alternative income stream to farm subsidies. It does not require costly inputs such as fertilizer - in fact, we fund all the inputs, for example cultivating the land, planting and fencing, to get the Habitat Bank off the ground.
Habitat creation means you are also supporting the vital restoration of our biodiverse landscape, vital to tackling the existential threat to our planet.
What sort of land are you looking for?
We consider all types of land, including currently unproductive areas, old pasture, scrubland as well as low-yield land. This is across the acreage and doesn’t have to be in one block. We are typically looking for parcels of land, totalling upwards of 20 hectares, but in some areas of the country we consider much less.
What help do you give to set up and manage a Habitat Bank?
This is done on a bespoke basis, there is no ‘one size fits all’. Our experienced team of ecologists will meet on your land for an on-site review to discuss the possibilities with you.
The aim is for us to form a close working relationship with you as a landowner who will create the habitat on the leased land on behalf of Environment Bank. This is most likely to be you, as the landowner, working your own land, but may be an associated company of yours or a third party, depending on the circumstances in each case. Regardless, our ecologists will fully support all individuals involved, including the type of planting and management of the Habitat Bank throughout the full term.
How do I get paid?
Income will be broken down between a lease payment for the land and a habitat management payment. Payments will increase year on year to a capped amount and will be made annually with the first year's upfront. Unlike other schemes, payments will start immediately on signing and we will also pay you a fee to welcome you to Environment Bank.
What about the Sustainable Farming Incentive?
In 2022, you can enter the same area of land into an SFI standards agreement and a private sector scheme arrangement. The approach to private sector schemes will be reviewed by DEFRA annually. Kerriann Mclackland, Environment Bank’s Head of Land, South comments: “we welcome the opportunities for landowners to make the most of concurrent SFI funding, particularly under the Improved Grassland & Moorland option. We also encourage landowners to take advantage of the support for Animal Health and Welfare under the scheme”.
GET STARTED WITH HABITAT BANK CREATION
Find out the habitat options for your land and the income you could generate by registering your land or calling our team on 01904 202 990.