How The Land App turned from a tool into a movement
When we looked at the landscape initially, it was easy to lose heart. Funding for farmers and estates was plummeting, biodiversity was dwindling, and the climate situation was troubling. But now that natural capital markets are opening up and organisations are looking to collaborate, we have to say we’re optimistic.
There’s more work to be done than ever before. But together – as ecologists, governments, land owners, agents, estates, private investors, field engineers and planners – we have a greater chance of success than ever before too.
When we first released The Land App a few years ago, it was going to be a tool that aided the journey to sustainability. But in all honesty, it’s becoming so much more.
The early days
When our founder Tim first dreamt of achieving ecological recovery, he knew more than a few obstacles stood in his way:
- This was too big a job for one person
- It was far too complex to figure out on pen and paper
- People wouldn’t move forward unless they could see where they were going
And so the Land App was born. A cloud-based, collaborative mapping platform that would join all the dots and turn on the lights. And it shot fast into the hands of leading land managers, estates and advisors.
To begin with, people used The Land App as a master key to access authoritative data, baseline projects, draw redline boundaries, and complete BPS and Stewardship applications. But soon they were using it for so much more:
- Estate managers were using it to create Land Management Plans
- Ecologists were making it go-to software for biodiversity offsetting
- Facilitators using it to mobilise farm groups to prepare for natural capital investment
We know now that the Land App isn’t just an innovative toolset. 45% of England is already mapped onto the platform’s templates and our dream of widespread ecological recovery is drawing closer.
Look how far we’ve come
The team at the Land App is still small and nimble, and our roots are still in the ground. Whether we were growing up in the Yorkshire Dales or on a family farm in Surrey, we loved nature long before we loved tech. For us, our technology is simply a method of achieving the outcomes we want to see on the planet.
The natural world is beautiful and we want to see it thrive. Whether this means planting trees to offset carbon emissions, restoring habitats to reverse biodiversity loss, improving soil health for sustainable food production, or developing land for renewable energy sources.
We still love the small, the local effort, the people who make daily choices to nudge the world in the right direction. But as our partner network has grown exponentially, we’ve learned to plan bigger too.
Breaking the inertia together
Many organisations don’t know where to start. Creating a sustainable landscape is a huge undertaking and most people are beginning it with no digital presence, pen-and-paper, and disparate data. They can’t see where they’re going, and they don’t know if anyone’s taking the journey with them.
The Land App puts an end to the inertia. It does the groundwork, gathering the spatial data you need to create Land Management Plans and highlighting where opportunities lie. Crucially, it also enables people and organisations to collaborate on the landscape level – and be part of something bigger.
Where we’re all going next
We’re now looking to facilitate connection between supply and demand in natural capital markets – bridging the gap so that public and private sector funding can reach the people responsible for stewarding land.
Beyond that, we’re going to turn our attention to monitoring and evaluation. Since everything is being drawn spatially on The Land App already, it won’t take much for us to enable organisations to monitor by satellite the land they’ve funded. This won’t just save everyone money and time, it’ll also quicken the speed at which we can turn the tide on land sustainability.
Together with our partner network in land, conservation and infrastructure, we’re going from “an extremely useful tool” to “a movement capable of creating a sustainable landscape – financially, socially and environmentally.”
It’ll start with the UK, but it’ll soon go global. 45% of England’s land is already on our platform. If you’re part of the 55% who haven’t tried The Land App yet, you can sign up for free today.