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Natural Capital Update: Agri-Environment Climate Scheme to support better land management

Lucie Howatson

As COP26 draws to a close, a scheme to protect the environment and improve public access to the countryside is due to reopen for a full round in 2022 and continue to be available until 2024, subject to budgetary decisions.

The Scottish Government’s Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) is aimed at promoting good land management practices as well as improve public access and preserve historic sites.

While details have not yet been released, it is understood that the focus will include the conversion to organic farming, biodiversity, soil health, improving water quality and mitigating climate change; these measures will support the restoration and preservation of Scotland’s natural capital by promoting regenerative agriculture and protecting the environment. 

Natural capital has become a hot topic throughout the last year with the sustainability of agriculture being questioned in relation to its contribution towards climate change.  It is hoped that the prescriptions available – options that applicants can sign up for under the scheme – will support farmers at time when climate change is at the forefront of policy and how food is produced is under the microscope.

While Scotland has some of the most sustainable farming systems in the world, achieving carbon net-zero to likely to be a requirement on farming businesses in the near future therefore the correct delivery of this scheme will help businesses to meet this target.

Do get in touch if you’d like to discuss any aspect of land management.

• Natural Capital: The expert advisers at Galbraith guide our clients in realising value in all land uses – by assessing and measuring natural assets, furthering opportunities in biodiversity net gain, and ensuring stakeholders are rewarded fully for their investment in and contribution to delivering ecosystem services and net-zero outcomes.