‘Natural Capital’ is a concept that has been gradually rising up the agenda in rural land management and agriculture over the past couple of years. It is a term used to describe the aspects of the natural world, from fresh water and clean air to peat bogs and woodland, that are valuable to people because of the ‘ecosystem services’ that they deliver.
First pushed to the fore by Michael Gove’s 25-year Environment Plan, it has since been referenced repeatedly in speeches and policy documents coming out of DEFRA as well as in commentary from industry leaders and the private sector.
The Department have now published a new set of guidelines on Natural Capital: Enabling a Natural Capital Approach (ENCA). The online guide brings together a useful range of tools and information, and will be a useful resource for anyone wanting to get to grips with the Natural Capital approach.
The launch of ‘ENCA’ is a clear indication that the government remains committed to using Natural Capital approaches in its future policies and to enabling private sector growth in this area.
For anyone looking to the future of public or private funding for environmental management and farmland conservation, understanding this new concept and the opportunities it presents for farm businesses, estates and other rural enterprises, is vital. GSC Grays are monitoring the area closely and we have consultants ready to advise on Natural Capital assessments and emerging markets for Ecosystem Services.
If you would like to find out more about Natural Capital and how it applies to your business, please contact one of our Farm Services team or Rural Land and Business team.