We know that we’re at a pivotal moment in the land management sector; I don’t need to go into detail on how climate change, economic disruptions and changing policies are impacting our day-to-day lives in unprecedented ways.

We have all seen the recent farmer protests across Europe. However, there are opportunities here as well. The UK is in a unique position to lead the development of the Global Nature Recovery market. There is a future where farming and environmental stewardship go hand in hand. At Land App, our journey with the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS) and partnerships with DEFRA and the Forestry Commission highlights a path towards a smarter, more resilient agricultural landscape.

I believe, right now, Countryside Stewardship is the world’s most effective and important scheme for funding farmers to deliver natural capital interventions. Why? Because it’s the base for public funding in Nature Restoration to help us hit our national environmental and resilience targets. It is also the primary mechanism (with SFI) to support farmers to transition to resilience practice – directly supporting corporates to reduce their risk exposure in the face of climate change (reported through the TNFD framework).

The reason I say it is the most important scheme in the world is that it is the vehicle on which to stack private sector funding as Countryside Stewardship Plus, or what was known originally in ELM as Local Nature Recovery, and create a truly blended finance system for nature restoration. We have also heard from the US, New Zealand, Australia, African and European nations that they are looking at the UK’s model  to enable their nature recovery markets for national resilience in the face of climate turbulence.

At Land App, we’re excited about the possibilities we offer to support this transition; we have learnt so much delivering the spatially targeted England Wood Creation Offer and on 4th April we will be doing a ‘teach-in’ with Defra on how we see this, combined with the work we are doing with private funders (on BNG and Phosphate mitigation), being the foundation for blended finance. 

Moreover, our work with leading supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer highlights the broader scope of our initiatives. Together, it’s not just about improving farm resilience; it’s strengthening the UK’s food supply chain and setting a precedent for national food sovereignty and climate resilience. It’s clear to me that the work we are collectively doing in the UK is forming the base of the potential evolution of the Global Nature Recovery market.

On a personal note, I know first hand that navigating the complexities of CSS as a land owner can be daunting. On our family farm, the process of applying for a higher-tier Countryside Stewardship has been far from smooth. These challenges underscore the critical need for a more streamlined, efficient approach to environmental stewardship in farming. It is why we are constantly working to make accessing funding as easy as possible. If you missed it, make sure to watch our webinar, ‘Preparing for Countryside Stewardship’ on how to use Land App to support your application. (I wish we’d launched the Countryside Stewardship validator tool before embarking on my application!).

As we continue to refine and expand our offerings, we invite you to join us in this journey. Your feedback, stories, and insights are invaluable as we strive to support DEFRA in evolving the Countryside Stewardship Scheme into one that truly reflects the needs and potentials of modern farming in England.

Together, we can transform the landscape of agriculture into one that is more productive, sustainable, and resilient against the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Thank you for being a part of this journey.

Best Regards,

Tim Hopkin

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Growing up on Norney Farm in Surrey, my early years were shaped by a profound love for farming and nature. Concerns about the farm’s sustainability sparked a journey that led me to explore property studies at Bristol UWE and delve into Permaculture and Regenerative Agriculture. These experiences abroad, particularly in France and South Africa, highlighted the pressing need for enhanced support in the land management sector, planting the seeds for what would become Land App. Following stints at Pear Technology and a groundbreaking collaboration with Geovation, Land App was born, driving innovation and connectivity in land management while fostering prosperity for farmers and the environment.
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