Land and property specialist Strutt & Parker is delighted to announce a collaboration with leading environmental economists Economics for the Environment Consultancy (eftec) to help rural landowners enhance and unlock the potential of their natural capital assets.
Strutt & Parker worked with eftec last year to produce one of the first natural capital accounts of its kind for a large private estate in Yorkshire with multiple land uses. This was a significant piece of work which demonstrated how investment in natural capital and low carbon thinking can be compatible with a thriving business plan, and is now being used as a tool to aid decision making on the estate.
Natural capital accounting is a way of measuring, monitoring and valuing a farm or estate’s natural capital assets, presenting the information in a similar way to a set of financial accounts. The collaboration between Strutt & Parker and eftec will enable the production of similar accounts for farms and estates across Great Britain. This ties in with the government’s flagship 25-Year Environment Plan which places a natural capital approach at the heart of future policy choices and decision making, and the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) which will require farmers to understand the public goods they provide.
James Farrell, head of Rural at Strutt & Parker, says: “There is a huge amount of interest in natural capital at present, linked to concerns about climate change and declines in biodiversity. The more that landowners understand about the quantity and quality of their natural capital assets, the better placed they will be to make decisions about how best to manage them. It will also help to identify where there might be potential to open up new income streams, through the provision of ecosystem services such as the generation of carbon credits.
“By working together, eftec and Strutt & Parker aim to provide clients with valuable insight into the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits associated with their natural capital assets. This can then be used to help make long-term strategic decisions about land management practices and future land use.”
Duncan Royle, senior natural capital accountant of eftec, says: “Accounting is about organising information in useful formats that aid sound decision making, and natural capital accounts reveal the relationship between the state of natural capital assets, the benefits (both private and public goods) they provide and inform what needs to happen so such assets and their benefits are sustained.”