The English Law Commission has released its final report on Conservation Covenants
In this report, we make recommendations for the introduction of a new statutory scheme of conservation covenants in England and Wales.
Our recommendations to introduce such a scheme would create a new legal tool, enabling landowners to protect land in order to conserve and restore our natural and built environment. Conservation covenants would allow landowners voluntarily to create binding obligations on their own land to meet a conservation objective, such as preserving woodland, cultivating a particular species of plant or protecting a habitat for an animal, or farming land in a certain way. Our proposed statutory scheme would give individual landowners the opportunity, using private agreements, to contribute to conservation efforts being made across England and Wales (...)
In recent years there has been an appreciation – both in this and other countries – of the contribution that can be made by landowners to a nation’s conservation efforts. As a result many countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Scotland, have given legal recognition to voluntary conservation agreements in the form of conservation covenants.
Two main benefits flow from the introduction of conservation covenants: missed conservation opportunities can be captured, and the need to use workarounds to create private conservation obligation in relation to land is reduced, if not eliminated. Conservation covenants will assist the efforts of private individuals and communities who seek to conserve, protect, restore or enhance our historical and environmental assets. They will also be a cheaper way of realising conservation agreements than the existing methods. In particular, conservation bodies and public bodies will no longer have to purchase land in order to protect it or undertake conservation activities in relation to it.
Labels: comparative and foreign law, environmental law, law commissions, property law, UK