The Natural Capital sector is a fast-changing environment. NCA uses its hands-on expertise and industry connections to provide advice and services to farmers, investors, corporates, housing developers and local authorities across the UK. NCA has five main activities to achieve its vision of delivering environmental good for fair reward.
For farms and estates, NCA provides baseline biodiversity audits. These audits are used to quantify the current baseline and the potential practical headroom available to trade in the future. These audits range from 1km2 samples from which the results are extrapolated to build a broad picture for business planning purposes, right through to detailed audits granulated down to a field scale which can then function as a definitive ‘line in the sand’ for future trading or monitoring purposes.
NCA brings together groups of farmers and landowners for the purposes of Natural Capital Trading. Most notably, NCA has designed and now services the Environmental Farmers Group, Peakland Environmental Farmers and Swaledale & Wensleydale Environmental Farmers. These groups build a critical mass of land, which not only gives the convened groups both buying and selling power, but also gives investors one point of contact through which trading can be facilitated.
NCA brokers trading of Natural Capital services between farmers, investors and buyers. With its partner organisations, it has a strong network of connections throughout farming, green finance, legal, accounting, surveying and investor communities. Using these, NCA can match funding opportunities and farm environmental projects, overseeing agreements that are commercially fair and balanced for all parties involved.
NCA provides ongoing monitoring of environmental contracts. These are either plans put in place to ensure that environmental projects meet the requirements of any trading agreement or to give farms and estates an understanding of how much environmental gain is being delivered by their project.
Codes and Registers
NCA has now started rollout of the Hedgerow Carbon Code following its creation by the GWCT Allerton Project. This project, partially funded by Defra, aims to deliver a code that can be used by farmers and landowners to improve their carbon footprint and benefit through the creation of carbon credits. NCA is continuing work with other industry organisations on developing a system to register such credits.