Church of England: Land Use

Church Commissioners written question – answered at on 12 April 2024.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether a recent assessment has been made of the environmental improvements being advanced through the church's holding of agricultural land.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Church Commissioners undertake rolling assessments of environmental improvements being made to the farmland portfolio by tenants, which is used to update the baseline study undertaken five years ago. Data has so far been provided on over 25,000 acres of Commissioners’ land holdings and contains details of environmental changes, such as transitioning to regenerative agricultural practices. The Commissioners are pleased to announce a partnership with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), which will further develop this work.

The Church Commissioners’ rural estates team continues to engage with our new and existing agricultural tenants through regular individual farm visits, the sharing of ground-sourced data, including carbon audits, and the gathering of information from third parties. On recent assessment revealed that on a single Commissioners’ farm in Kent, over 45 species of bird were recorded during a single visit in December 2023.

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