Explainer: What are conservation covenants and will they become law?

Conservation covenants are back on the government’s policy agenda as a method for underpinning net gain. Here is everything you need to know about them...

Pile of books
Covenants are legal promises and there are two types: restrictive and positive

The outgoing chair of Natural England, Andrew Sells, wrote a farewell blog in January in which he argued for conservation covenants to be “put on the statute book”.

“A conservation covenant would be a voluntary agreement between a landowner and a conservation body – such as Natural England or a local wildlife trust - to do or not do something on their land for a conservation purpose, even if the land changed hands. I am hopeful we shall see conservation covenants introduced in the Environment Bill,” he wrote.

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