What type of land can be used for Habitat Bank creation and how will it affect my land usage?
What sort of land are you looking for?
We consider all types of land, including currently unproductive areas, old pasture and scrubland as well as under-performing arable land. This is across the acreage and doesn’t have to be in one block. Primarily we are looking for parcels of land upwards of 20 hectares in size.
Will you take over my whole farm?
No. We are not looking for whole farms or particularly large areas of land. We are typically seeking parcels of land, upwards of 20 hectares. Habitat Banks provide a means of spreading your risk as part of your overall diversification strategy.
They bring a guaranteed, fixed, 30-year income, while sitting happily alongside the other arms of your farming business. They won’t change the entire face of your farm, they will simply help support the replacement of your existing EU farm subsidies as an alternative use of small parcels of land.
How can farmers continue to produce enough food if land is put over to schemes such as Habitat Banks?
We are not looking to take land used to grow food out of production and you can still produce arable crops whilst taking part in a Habitat Bank creation project.
Environment Bank is looking to create 4,500 hectares of biodiverse habitat across England. This leaves plenty of scope for food production, whilst helping farmers diversify their income stream, and supporting environmental regeneration on previously marginal land.
If I go for a grassland habitat will I still be able to cut hay and silage?
Yes, this can be incorporated into the management plan and any commodities which come from the land will belong to the farmer.
Will game shooting be permitted on Habitat Banks?
Although the management of land for shooting can lead to environmental benefits, it will not always be compatible with the Management Plan, so we will consider sporting rights on a case by case basis.
Can the land be grazed?
This depends on the type of habitat being created on the land, but if applicable, yes, it can be incorporated into the Management Plan. We recognise that there are potential taxation and income benefits for the farmer if such an agricultural use continues on the land, so we support this.
Can any existing woodland on the land still be used for forestry?
Any existing woodland included within the lease must be primarily used for habitat creation, i.e. tree stock will be left to grow. However, if selective coppicing or felling or other aspects of forestry management are required to create or enhance the habitat, those operations will form part of the Management Plan.
What if a diversification opportunity arises such as glamping?
Potentially, yes, we will consider any requests for further diversification, providing that they will not conflict with the overall objectives of habitat creation and the relevant terms of the Management Plan.
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.