If you would like to offer feedback on the Toolkit, please click here.

Introduction toNature Markets Assessing landopportunities Working withother farmers Baselining,planning andmeasuring Workingwith buyers Farm businessplanning Liability & riskmanagement Using repayablefinance Signing legalcontracts Public sectorfunding & policy Tenancy &ownership
  1. Groundwork
  2. Market Engagement
Introduction toNature Markets Assessing landopportunities Working withother farmers Baselining,planning andmeasuring Workingwith buyers Farm businessplanning Liability & riskmanagement Using repayablefinance Signing legalcontracts Public sectorfunding & policy Tenancy &ownership
  1. Groundwork
  2. Market Engagement

 

How do I measure the environmental outcomes that I can produce in a robust way?

 

At this stage you will have developed an overarching vision for your land and a rough plan for what you want to improve. You will now want to make robust baseline measurements of the condition of your land and develop a detailed plan for interventions and intended outcomes. Plans will also include how you intend to maintain your interventions, measure the impact you are having and verify your outcomes in order to sell them.

 

What do I need to know about nature markets to begin with?

 

This section of the Toolkit provides a brief overview of nature markets in England and how they relate to farmers. It is designed to answer some of the early questions that farmers may have around nature markets. All Toolkit content, including this Introductory section, will be updated regularly.

 

What market opportunities are available to me based on my land and goals?

 

This milestone will guide you through an initial assessment of your land as you determine what your broad vision is in relation to nature and help you to identify what opportunities might be available to you to attract private sector finance.

The actions taken at this stage can be taken before you’ve made the firm decision to engage in nature markets. The considerations presented in this milestone will help you determine whether nature market participation makes sense for your goals, the condition of your natural capital and your farming business.

You can also apply many of these considerations to develop a broader vision around your natural capital and other potential funding sources – such as government grant schemes or philanthropic funding.

 

Will I need to partner with other farmers, and if so, how?

 

Once you have a vision for your farm, the environmental enhancements or changes you want to make and a sense of the related income opportunities, you may want to consider joining up with other farmers in your area to implement your outcomes at scale to attract buyers.

Aggregation models, often started among  farmer clusters or as farmer cooperatives, bring together multiple farmers or landowners to collectively participate in nature markets. These models aim to harness the combined efforts and resources of farmers to maximise environmental benefits and economic opportunities. This section will introduce the factors that may influence your decision to join up with other farmers and some of the key considerations to keep in mind when setting up and participating in such a group.

 

How do I measure the environmental outcomes that I can produce in a robust way?

 

At this stage you will have developed an overarching vision for your land and a rough plan for what you want to improve. You will now want to make robust baseline measurements of the condition of your land and develop a detailed plan for interventions and intended outcomes. Plans will also include how you intend to maintain your interventions, measure the impact you are having and verify your outcomes in order to sell them.

 

How should I identify and approach buyers for my outcomes?

 

During your initial project scoping, you may have identified potential buyers of the environmental outcomes you are planning to deliver. Now that you have a project plan and a robust baseline, you will be ready to approach and engage buyers more formally.

Buyers will vary in their expectations and requirements. This milestone will help you prepare for initial conversations with potential buyers to ensure you are empowered to ask the right questions and present a project that will attract a fair price. Your buyers may be within your own supply chain such as retailers and businesses, or organisations who benefit directly from your ecosystem services such as water companies or firms who seek to offset their own environmental impacts.

 

How would this project fit in with my current farming business model?

 

Nature market projects are often just one part of a farmer’s wider business. Some people compare building nature market projects to developing ‘micro businesses’ for the farm. As such, much of the content you see here will be familiar to you.

However, these projects also have key features that separate them from the businesses that farmers usually engage in. For example, the longer timeframes associated and the current uncertainties relating to how nature market projects (and the deals that result) can be blended with government schemes.

Below is a list of questions that will help you think through how to incorporate these projects into your current farm business plan. This includes considerations on building a cashflow or partial budget, but also the less quantifiable factors, such as the potential drawbacks and opportunities to your wider farm that sales of present.

 

What kind of risks should I be aware of and how can I manage them?

 

Like with any aspect of a farm business, risk management is critical – especially for nature market projects that can run over several years. As the landholder, you may be leading the development of the project, be part of a wider group of farmers, or be working with a third-party project developer that is taking the majority of the risk.

In any case, it’s advisable to have a clear understanding of the likelihood of the risks involved, what will happen if the risk materialises, what you as the landholder might be liable for, and how the risk is being managed to prevent this liability.

This Milestone sets out the different types of risks that nature market projects (and the deals that result from them) often carry. The last section covers the types of legal entities that farmers might form, as these can help to manage certain risks and benefit the overall operations of the project.

 

Is it possible to use repayable finance upfront to meet any of the costs?

 

Repayable finance from investors – typically debt or equity – is not always necessary in nature markets if upfront costs can be met by the buyer or through grants.

It’s also important to note that, even when repayable finance is needed, farmers do not necessarily have to secure this themselves.

In the UK, there are very few examples of individual farmers taking out loans and no examples of farmers issuing shares to use specifically to finance a nature market project. Typically, the upfront capital required is organised by a third party – for example, a third-party project developer, a broker etc.

However, as nature markets develop further, and in the case of larger farms, there is potential for farmers to secure repayable finance and meet up-front costs, as with other parts of their business.

The below therefore sets out some questions that farmers (and, more likely, third party project developers) could ask themselves to secure repayable finance from lenders and investors, whether that’s taking on finance independently, or as part of a larger group or partnership.

 

What do I need to be aware of when signing contracts?

 

This Milestone is about the legal contracts you will use and sign to officially commit to the project and transition it to a fully fledged deal. As business owners, farmers are familiar with contracts and understand the need to carefully review the details before signing any such agreements.

Any nature market deal is likely to involve legal agreements that will be tailored to each set of circumstances. However, for ease this Milestone sets out what contract set-ups are used in this space, common contract types, and other key considerations to ask yourself at this stage.

Disclaimer: The information in this Milestone does not constitute any form of legal advice but instead serves as practical advice that has been written by speaking with lawyers, farmers and other practitioners. We recommend that appropriate legal advice should be taken from a qualified solicitor before taking or refraining from any action relating to your contracts and projects.

 

Can I participate on tenanted land?

 

The tenancy and ownership structure of land can have significant implications for farmers engaging in nature markets in the UK. The rights of tenants in relation to nature markets is still not entirely clear in the UK and may differ on a case by case basis. Below are some key considerations which can help both tenants and landlords in asking the right questions when considering engaging in nature markets as policy and legal frameworks develop. Further guidance prepared by the Tenant Farmers Association and the Country, Land and Business Association can be found here. 

 

How do public sector funding and policy align with nature markets?

 

In England, the role of public funding and support to farmers is undergoing change on a scale not seen in decades. The government hopes to strengthen the link between environmental and farming practices to meet its climate and nature restoration targets, while maintaining food security and the viability of farm businesses across the country.

This section offers a summary of how government is working with farmers to access nature markets, and provides guidance on:

 

  • How nature markets might work with public subsidy schemes,
  • What development funding is available for farmers to explore their opportunities,
  • What ‘market infrastructure’ the government is supporting – including Standards and Codes.

Groundwork

 

We have separated out these Milestones into ‘Groundwork’ and ‘Market Engagement’ to indicate which Milestones you will want to read as you consider and/or prepare for nature markets (Groundwork) and those you will move through if and when you decide to become a seller of environmental outcomes (Market Engagement).  

We recommend all farmers read through the Groundwork Milestones in addition to the Introduction to Nature Markets in order to understand better whether nature markets are for them, and how they can, at the very least, explore and baseline their farms so they are ready for any opportunities that may arise later.  

Market Engagement

 

We have separated out these Milestones into ‘Groundwork’ and ‘Market Engagement’ to indicate which Milestones you will want to read as you consider and/or prepare for nature markets (Groundwork) and those you will move through if and when you decide to become a seller of environmental outcomes (Market Engagement).  

We recommend all farmers read through the Groundwork Milestones in addition to the Introduction to Nature Markets in order to understand better whether nature markets are for them, and how they can, at the very least, explore and baseline their farms so they are ready for any opportunities that may arise later.  

 

This milestone contains three subsets of considerations or ‘themes’ that farmers may want to explore at this stage. Click on each of these themes to the right in order to read more.

You can also read case studies of projects that have successfully completed this milestone of development and view a summary of the common activities undertaken at this stage below.

Case Studies

Checklist

Useful Links

Next Milestone
Determining what I need to measure and how

Determining what I need to measure and how

 

By this point, you will have an idea of where on your land you hope to make an environmental improvement as well as the associated nature market opportunities. You now need to determine what exactly you need to measure to create an accurate picture of the condition of your land now, so you are able to measure, and ultimately sell the improvement you deliver.

This section will walk you through determining what you need to baseline, choosing an appropriate measurement methodology and identifying a service provider which can help you conduct the measurements.

Expand/Collapse All
Why do I need to baseline?

At this stage you will have a rough plan of what you want to sell and how you will deliver it on your farm. In order to demonstrate that your project has delivered environmental improvements, you will need to first develop a baseline of the state of your natural capital before you start implementing your changes. This way, you can show potential buyers that your project has delivered improvements which are additional to what would have occurred under business as usual circumstances. The concept of additionality is key to nature markets as it ensures that nature markets are encouraging substantial, verifiable changes rather than rewarding what is already occurring.

 

What do I need to baseline?

What you measure when conducting your baseline will depend on the ecosystem service you are selling. If you are planning a carbon project, you will need to conduct a baseline of the carbon stocks on your land. If you are creating habitats to sell biodiversity net gain units you will need to assess the habitats you already have and their quality. If your intended project could deliver multiple benefits or if you are considering multiple projects for different nature markets, some services offer the ability to baseline multiple ecosystem services at once. It is generally recommended that, if costs allow, baseline as much of your land as possible now so that you have the options to sell into markets in the future – particularly future voluntary biodiversity credit markets. Examples of what farmers have measured on their land and how they did it can be found in the case studies for this milestone.

 

How do I baseline?

There are many ways to measure ecosystem services but depending on what you are planning to sell, there may be existing codes or metrics that you will need to adhere to when conducting your baseline and measuring your improvements.

For Biodiversity improvement projects your baselining methodology will depend on the market you intend to sell on. If you are aiming for the Biodiversity Net Gain market, you will need to conduct your baseline using Natural England’s Biodiversity Metric. You will also need to make sure you are using the latest version of the metric. As of September 2023, this is version 4.0. Some farmers are also beginning to anticipate voluntary biodiversity markets and using more innovative methodologies such as eDNA and bioacoustics to baseline and monitor their on-farm biodiversity.

For Soil Carbon projects, there are multiple methodologies you can use to baseline including direct soil sampling, use of remote sensing technologies and modelling soil carbon improvements based on your farming practices. Direct soil sampling will provide the most accurate measure of soil carbon, however it can be costly. Some baselining service providers, such as ecometric, use a combination of direct sampling and remote sensing to balance accuracy and affordability.

For Woodland or Peatland carbon projects there are existing codes which you will use to measure your baseline and calculate uplift. The Woodland Carbon Code and the Peatland Code offer guidance on how to measure your current and future carbon stock.

For Natural Flood Management or Nutrient Neutrality, the impacts you are attempting to mitigate occur downstream so baselining is more complicated. You would typically be paid for taking specific actions on your farm once poor water quality or risk of flood has been detected downstream, rather than being paid for the delivery of measurable outcomes.

 

Can I use data and mapping I already have?

You may have environmental data for your farm already which could be helpful in developing your baseline assessment. Field parcel data, or recent carbon and nutrient assessments may decrease the amount of new data you need to collect. It is important however to ensure that any existing data you are using is up-to-date and was collected using a verified methodology which will be acceptable to buyers.

What if there is no existing code or methodology that measures what I want to sell?

In the case of no standard or code, you will need to work closely with buyers or brokers to get their approval on a methodology that includes baselining and estimating the delivery of ecosystem services. For example, Natural Flood Management does not have an existing code for estimating the impact of flood risk interventions, however the end buyer may have a specific method for modelling impacts. Ultimately the end buyer’s approval of your methodology is crucial so using existing codes and certified methodologies where possible is advisable and, where codes are unavailable, engaging with potential buyers early on will help you determine an appropriate way of measuring your ecosystem services.

 

 

Who am I working with to measure my ecosystem service?

If you do not have ecological experience yourself, then there are a host of ecological surveyors that can provide specialist baselining assessment services, ideally those with knowledge of the farming landscape. The Soil Association Exchange would be one example.  If you are planning to work with a broker to secure buyers for your ecosystem services, they may provide baselining services as well, or have stipulations on acceptable methodologies. Examples of baselining service providers can be found in the case studies of this milestone.

Before baseline data is collected, it is important that yourself and the surveyor agree on the methodology being used, such as the frequency and depth of soil carbon measurement in the case of soil carbon, to avoid collecting data that is misaligned with your aims and having to repeat the surveying process.

 

What are the costs and timelines of baselining?

Baselining timelines and costs can vary significantly depending on the environmental outcome you are hoping to deliver and the size of the land parcel you are measuring. Baselining can take as little as a day or up to several months, and range in price from under £100 to tens of thousands of pounds. You may also want to plan for cost overruns and delays, such as in the case of severe weather preventing the ecologist or surveyor from taking accurate data.

For example, a carbon surveyor could baseline the carbon stock of a parcel of arable land of 50 hectares in perfect weather conditions over the course of a day, costing very little other than the time spent. However, developing a nutrient baseline for a waterway passing through a farm would require water samplings to be taken over the course of a year or more, with potential delays in data collection from adverse weather conditions or sewage leaks. Depending on your ecosystem service, baselining may need to take pace at particular times of year, but ongoing measurement should be conducted at the same time each year (or every few years, depending on your monitoring plan).

Before paying for any specific baselining services, you should establish exactly the outputs you are looking for and the timeframe over which these can be delivered.

Can I use a combination of desktop or remote data and ground surveying data?

Measurement of the ecosystem services (particularly baselining) will inevitably involve some ground surveying. However, based on your earlier research there may be specific databases or maps that can shorten the time spent on the ground. For instance, the Defra Data Service Platform has maps that plot the rough depth of peat soils across England and Wales, which can help to indicate what areas are unlikely to be worth testing in ground surveying due to lack of peat depth.

There are some third-party services which offer fully remote baselining. However, most credible buyers will require some form of ground truthing to ensure the environmental benefit is being delivered. Fully remote services may help you to flesh out additional data beyond your target ecosystem service. For example, if you are selling carbon, you may take a remote biodiversity assessment to help demonstrate co-benefits of your carbon project. You would not, however want to use remote data to take a biodiversity assessment if you were hoping to sell BNG units as this would  not align with Defra’s mandated Biodiversity Metric.

Should I collect other additional data?

Though not always necessary, it could be highly beneficial to assess other ‘value add’ aspects of the site in baselining, such as the extent of biodiversity or the public use of the land.

This might also help you to mitigate risks to the project’s success– for example, baselining species may uncover the risk of grazing deer on a BNG site. In addition to risk mitigation, broader baselining can increase the project’s appeal to buyers and investors, who are looking for environmental or social co-benefits. This can in some cases lead to higher prices for your units/credits.

For example, Blaston Estate found that buyers of their carbon credits were interested in the wider environmental context of the farm as well as their connection to the local community.

Is there potential for stacking or bundling with other sellable ecosystem services?

There may be opportunities to sell multiple ecosystem services from the same site but there are some limitations to which ecosystems services can be sold together in the UK.

  • Stacking – this means you are providing multiple ecosystem services on the same land which are sold under separate contracts. This could be to the same buyer or multiple buyers.
  • Bundling – this means bringing together (bundling) multiple ecosystem services in a single landholding and selling as a package.

Defra has set out guidance for combining payments from different nature markets and combining nature markets payments with those from agri-environmental schemes. The most recent guidance can be found here, however it should be noted that these rules are not yet set in stone and may be subject to change. A summary is below:

  • Biodiversity + Nutrients: You can sell biodiversity units and nutrient credits from the same piece of land by stacking them. You can sell the units and credits to the same developer or different developers, provided you meet the eligibility criteria for each market.

 

  • Biodiversity OR Nutrients + Carbon: You cannot sell biodiversity net gain units and nutrient credits from the same land used to sell carbon credits unless:
    • You can further enhance the habitat beyond what has been done to generate carbon credits
    • this does not affect the carbon value

 

  • Biodiversity OR Nutrients + Agri-environment Schemes: You cannot sell an enhancement funded by an agri-environment scheme as a biodiversity unit or nutrient credit. However, you can use the same land to create further habitat enhancements on top of an existing agri-environment agreement.
Developing a detailed plan for environmental improvements

Developing a detailed plan for environmental improvements

 

Once you have a baseline, you will start planning for making environmental improvements. Choosing appropriate interventions will help to mitigate risks of project failure and maximise the financial opportunities available to the farmers making the change.

Expand/Collapse All
How do I know what environmental improvements to make?

In Milestone 1, you set out your overall vision for your land. Now that you have conducted a baseline ecological assessment, you can begin to turn your vision into a detailed plan for environmental improvements. Your baseline will have told you where there is opportunity for uplift. For instance, if your soils have low levels of organic carbon and your vision includes improving soil health, you may want to introduce practices on your farm aligned with regenerative farming such as maximising soil cover and decreasing your use of synthetic fertiliser to both improve soil fertility and increase its capacity to sequester and store carbon. You can explore how farmers have turned their baseline assessment into a detailed plan in the case studies for this milestone.

 

How can I be sure these improvements are best suited to the site?

Utilising an ecologist with knowledge of the farming landscape can help you to determine whether your planned interventions are suited to your chosen site. You will want to ensure for example that when planting a wildflower meadow, the species you are choosing are suitable for your climate and will attract beneficial local pollinators.

You will also want to consider how your intended improvements may impact other areas of the farm or the farm business overall. For example, if you are removing grazing animals to restore a degraded peatland, you will need to think about where those animals will be placed instead to ensure they do not cause harm elsewhere. Improving one site to the detriment of another is called ‘leakage.

On the other hand, creating a woodland on unproductive parts of your farm could improve soil health or provide animal welfare benefits for livestock. Placing your project in the right area can maximise co-benefits and mitigate leakage of environmental harm to elsewhere on the farm.

 

Who am I working with for this change?

There may be different parties involved in delivering environmental changes on your farm, depending on your willingness or capacity to conduct the works yourself. Implementing new ways of farming would likely not involve a third party but if you are planting a woodland or restoring a habitat, you may want to bring in additional support from an ecologist or a specialist organisation like the Woodland Trust or Real Wild Estates. Some specialist organisations can also act as a broker to help with identifying and transacting with buyers. Learn more about this process in Milestone 4.

 

Will the site(s) be resilient to expected changes in the climate and environment?

Climate change and other environmental factors will likely pose a threat to many natural habitats in the UK. For instance, increased flooding could affect the forecasted efficacy of natural flood management interventions, and heatwaves could lead to fires and plant die-off in biodiversity improvement areas.

There are ways of incorporating these considerations into ecological modelling and design. Buyers may well ask you about these due to the threat that climate change has on the permanence (see below) of the project’s outcomes. You should be prepared to answer questions about how you are planning for potential climatic impacts on your project and how you plan to mitigate those impacts.

 

What is the potential for the site(s) to reverse in condition after initial works are done?

When you are planning for how you will deliver your environmental outcomes, you will also need to undertake a practical risk assessment of the site. The biggest risk is that your interventions will fail, or that external factors will impede the delivery of your outcomes over the agreed period of time.

Examples of these risks could be: unsuitable vegetation chosen for a new woodland, external factors such as fire and storms, or even people destroying established ecological habitats. For example, in peatland restoration this risk of reversal is often highest in the initial two years after implementation when the interventions are still taking root.

With help from an ecological surveyor, you can list all risks to the natural habitat and consider both the likelihood and impact of these risks. You can then begin to make initial plans for how you might mitigate these risks or replace or re-establish your project if it fails.

Tips on handling potential failure are provided in the Planning for Maintenance and Monitoring section within this Milestone, and also mentioned in Milestone 6.

 

 

Planning for maintenance and monitoring

Planning for maintenance and monitoring

 

Before starting to make environmental changes, farmers should have a clear plan for ongoing maintenance and monitoring of the project. The time, labour and costs of these activities should be factored into the project plan to ensure farmers are prepared for the ongoing needs of the project.

Expand/Collapse All
Who is in charge of maintenance? What does the maintenance plan look like?

It is likely that you will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of your project unless you have an agreement with a third-party project developer to implement and maintain your project. It is important to develop a maintenance plan so you can understand the time commitment and costs expected throughout the life of your project. A maintenance plan may include:

  • a statement of the project’s objectives, including in what condition the site should be maintained,
  • a statement of the maintenance and management activities to be implemented over the project duration, including identification of necessary resources and inputs,
  • references to a risk assessment, including what controls are being put in place to manage these risks,
  • a list of all individuals and parties involved in the maintenance and management activities, with their roles clearly stated and why they are best positioned for these roles,
  • a chronological plan or estimation of when these activities may be needed, and/or
  • a map of the project area, showing what interventions were originally put in place at the implementation stage.

 

Who is in charge of formal monitoring? What does the monitoring plan look like?

Monitoring your environmental outcomes is an important piece of post-implementation planning. You may want to conduct monitoring yourself or use a third-party, but you will need to ensure you use a robust methodology and that the costs of monitoring are factored into your budgeting. A formal monitoring plan should be developed in tandem with developing your plan for environmental changes and might include:

  • a schedule of how often monitoring activities are undertaken and by whom,
  • a statement of the monitoring activities to be implemented, including identification of necessary resources and inputs, such as costs to pay the monitor for their time,
  • particular considerations around the risks to the project, such as areas of the site that are more vulnerable to reversal,
  • a clear set of outputs to be delivered from each monitoring point, such as fixed point photography or water sampling results,
  • a process for recording these outputs and having them reviewed by a relevant project stakeholder, including the buyers, and/or
  • an escalation process in case monitoring shows that the site is not delivering its predicted ecosystem services.

 

Who is in charge of verifying my ecosystem services? What is the verification process?

Verifying your ecosystem services is typically done by a third party to ensure accuracy and objectivity. Your buyer may require a specific auditor or, if you are selling your credits through a broker, they may have their own internal auditing process. You will want to ensure that the methodology you use for baselining is consistent with the verification process you are likely to use. If you are uncertain of who your buyer will be, conducting your baseline and verifying your outcomes using a methodology aligned with an existing code or standard will be helpful in demonstrating your outcomes have been achieved. For example, with carbon, using a tool which is GHG Protocol Compliant will ensure your measurements are robust and comparable to those taken using other GHG-Protocol-compliant tools.

 

 

Across maintenance, monitoring and verification, what am I responsible for and how much might I need to pay?

A formal monitoring plan needs to be developed in tandem with the restoration planning. This might include:

  • A schedule of how often monitoring activities are undertaken and by who.
  • A statement of the monitoring activities to be implemented, including identification of necessary resources and inputs, such as costs to pay the monitor for their time.
  • Particular considerations around the risks to the project, such as areas of the site that are more vulnerable to reversal.
  • A clear set of outputs to be delivered from each monitoring point, such as fixed point photography or water sampling results.
  • A process for recording these outputs and having them reviewed by a relevant project stakeholder, including the buyers.
  • An escalation process in case monitoring shows that the site is not delivering its predicted ecosystem services.

 

Do I need to monitor the whole area, or can I use a subset of sites?

Ongoing monitoring, maintenance and verification costs can represent a significant portion of your project costs. For example, Spains Hall Estate estimated that 59% of the costs of their BNG interventions were in maintenance and monitoring, with less than half of the costs in initial works. Planning for this now can help you with budgeting and determining whether selling your environmental outcomes will cover the ongoing costs of your project.

 

Do I need insurance or a ‘land buffer’ in case of habitat failure?

Once you have calculated the potential uplift your interventions will likely deliver, you may begin considering what will happen in the event that your project fails either in full or in part to deliver your expected outcomes. Some farmers may use a ‘land buffer’, meaning they ensure they have additional land that has not yet been used in their project which could be utilised to deliver environmental outcomes in the event of a project failure. For instance, if you are planting a woodland on 5 ha, you may want to ensure you have an additional 5ha available for further planting in the event that the woodland does not become established. Another way of mitigating against these risks is by holding some of the credits you generate back in a buffer pool. This means that out of the credits you generate from soil carbon for example, you keep a portion back from sale which you can then use in the event your project doesn’t deliver the expected outcomes. You may also want to hold back some of the credits to compensate for your own impact or meet supply chain requirements. For example, some farmers who are selling carbon credits hold back enough to compensate for their own emissions so they can demonstrate to their supply chains that they are net zero.

Another example is Spains Hall Estate, which retained 20% of the BNG units it generated. This was partly due to a lack of formal insurance products available to cover the BNG project they implemented and so they decided to take it upon themselves. Some markets for carbon credits also require you to retain some credits as a buffer. Although you may determine the final percentage of credits you’ll retain when you start engaging with buyers, it is important to keep this in mind at the baselining stage so you  can factor a buffer into you estimates for potential income from selling credits. Management of risks is also covered in Milestone 6.

 

 

All Case Studies
Checklist

 

 

You can download a Word copy of the Milestone 3 Considerations as a checklist here, to help with your own project planning.

Alternatively, you can find a simple list of the Considerations below:

 

 

  1. Determining what I need to measure and how
  • Why do I need to baseline?
  • What do I need to baseline?
  • How do I baseline?
  • Can I use data and mapping I already have?
  • What if there is no existing code or methodology that measures what I want to sell?
  • Who am I working with to measure my ecosystem service?
  • What are the costs and timelines of baselining?
  • Can I use a combination of desktop or remote data and ground surveying data?
  • Should I collect other additional data? Which data will I collect?
  • What is the potential for stacking or bundling with other sellable ecosystem services?

 

  1. Developing a detailed plan for environmental improvements
  • How do I know what environmental improvements to make?
  • How can I be sure these improvements are best suited to the site?
  • Who am I working with for this change?
  • Will the site(s) be resilient to expected changes in the climate and environment?
  • What is the potential for the site(s) to reverse in condition after initial works are done?

 

  1. Planning for maintenance and monitoring
  • Who will be in charge of maintenance? What will I include in my maintenance plan?
  • Who will be in charge of formal monitoring? What will my monitoring plan include?
  • Who will be in charge of verifying my ecosystem services? How will this work?
  • Across maintenance, monitoring and verification, what am I responsible for and how much might I need to pay?
  • Do I need to monitor the whole area, or can I use a subset of sites?
  • Do I need insurance or a ‘land buffer’ in case of habitat failure?

 

Farming Toolkit Question

This question below is purely to understand what stakeholder groups are using the Farming Toolkit and to help assess its impact. No identifiable information or contact details are being recorded.

"*" indicates required fields

I am a...*

Please tick all that apply to you.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.