A promise to preserve land

New legislation? No problem. We’ve become experts in conservation covenants while helping Kent Wildlife Trust.

When the conservation covenant legislation is passed, it will change the way land is protected, forever. Conservation covenants won’t be able to be overridden – even if the area is sold on. Unfazed by the unchartered territory, the Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) team helped Kent Wildlife Trust prepare to preserve land in the area.

As Kent Wildlife Trust’s nominated lawyers, we provide legal support on a range of projects, including the opening of their new country park and visitor centre. However, their latest challenge has been completely different – preparing for the introduction of conservation covenants.

Conservation covenants have the potential to protect land more permanently. Unlike the greenbelt, this isn’t something councils can override. Although already in force in Scotland and in countries like New Zealand, the law will be new to the rest of the UK.

Putting a conservation covenant in place protects the environment, promotes biodiversity and paves the way for landowners to be paid to manage their land to store carbon, clean water and other ‘ecosystem services’. The covenant might state that the butterfly and bee population in the area needs to increase by 1% per annum. However, it could also prohibit certain activities like burning peat for grouse shooting, which releases carbon into the atmosphere.

Recognising how vital this new law will be, the Trust decided they wanted to reach out to farmers in their area and ask whether they would apply. Helping the Trust on this journey has also meant the ACS team have developed expertise in this area before the law is even in place.

What we did to help Kent Wildlife Trust prepare

  • We reached out to different jurisdictions to discuss their approach.
  • We carried out our own research to decide what agreement would be most suitable.
  • We drafted a conservation covenant for Kent Wildlife Trust so they’re prepared for when the legislation is passed.
  • We developed expertise so we’re already ahead of the game when it comes to giving legal advice in this area.

“When it’s a totally new area of law, other firms might be wary about it. But we’re not afraid to be ahead of the pack. This hasn’t even come into law and we’ve already drafted an agreement to help prepare one of our clients.”
Natalie Barbosa, senior associate, Anthony Collins Solicitors

Natalie Barbosa
0161 470 0312

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