21st March 2019

Defra recently consulted upon proposals to establish conservation covenants. These would enable landowners and managers to enter into long term covenants to deliver a range of conservation and environmental benefits.


1.  Leaving our environment in a better state than we found it for future generations to enjoy requires long-term investment and stability. Where land owners seek to secure positive environmental outcomes they have no adequate mechanism to secure those benefits over the long term. We need a new legal tool – conservation covenants.   

2. A conservation covenant is a private, voluntary agreement between a landowner and a “responsible” body, such as a conservation charity, government body or a local authority.  It delivers lasting conservation benefit for the public good.  A covenant sets out obligations in respect of the land which will be legally binding not only on the landowner but on subsequent owners of the land.

Consultation description

We want to know what you think about our plans to introduce legislation for conservation covenants in England. Conservation covenants would allow landowners to set legally binding obligations on their land for themselves and subsequent owners. This will allow landowners to secure environmental benefits for the long term.

In particular, we want to hear what you think about the:

1.  demand and potential for conservation covenants to secure lasting conservation for the public good

2.  safeguards

3.  Law Commission proposals, with our proposed amendments

View a copy of Friends of the Lake District's submission to this consultation, submitted 21st March 2019

More information about the consultation is available on the DEFRA website at: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-management/conservation-covenants/