Assessing New Land Offers
New land offered to the Trust will be assessed on an individual basis using our acquisition criteria which include:
- The land must fit with the Trust’s purpose i.e. be productive land where environment and biodiversity are an inherent part of the farming or growing system. This might mean that the land is currently managed organically, or would be capable of being farmed organically.
- It must be capable of being financially self-sufficient – either in itself or with endowment funding.
- It must be free of any significant liabilities that could not be met from within its own resources.
- The Trust must be the most appropriate owner i.e. other organisations such as the Woodland Trust, local wildlife trust or Biodynamic Land Trust may be more appropriate for certain types of land.
- The Trust must be satisfied that it could reasonably meet any wishes the donor might have about the future use or management of the land.
More detailed assessments may then be needed and we would discuss this with you.
No two farms are the same and we approach each land offer on an individual basis. However, a typical process might be as follows:
- Donor contacts Trust to express their interest in a potential donation.
- Trust explains the process for considering potential gifts/legacies, which would involve an assessment of whether the land meets the Trust’s criteria for acquisition. Initial information is collated about the holding and the donors’ situation and wishes.
- If the criteria for acquisition seem to be met and are acceptable to the donor in principle, the Trust would arrange for a visit to be made for an assessment of the site to prepare a report for Trustees.
- In the light of the report Trustees would make a formal decision on whether they feel able to accept the gift/legacy or not.
- If approved the Donor can then proceed to amend or draw up their will to incorporate the legacy to the Trust and to draw up a ‘letter of wishes’, if appropriate, to outline how they would like to see the land managed in future. A letter of wishes is not legally binding on the Trust but the Trust would undertake to honour it as far as realistically possible.
If you are interested in an initial confidential discussion, please contact our Co-ordinator, Ruth Curtis on 0117 314 5097 or get in touch.