Unlock the potential of natural capital with Michelmores
Natural Capital
Key contact

“Michelmores is without a shadow of the doubt the most skilled, capable and impressive team of agricultural litigators and non-contentious lawyers in the country. It should be the first port of call for anyone with a rural or agricultural matter that requires specialist and high-quality advice.”

Legal 500 2024

“It occupies a market-leading position and serves all sorts of agricultural and rural business, large and small. It has a breadth of agricultural specialists that, so far as I am aware, is unrivalled by any other firm.”

Legal 500 2024

“The solicitors are highly specialist. They bring a wealth of expertise in the legal principles often encountered within this area and also a detailed knowledge of the industry itself.”

Chambers UK 2023

Natural Capital

What is natural capital?

Natural capital can be defined as the world’s stocks of natural assets such as land, forests, fisheries, minerals, biodiversity and all living things. This natural capital that humans derive underpins our economy and society, and thus make human life possible. The phrase natural capital describes the outputs of land which deliver environmental benefits, alongside, or perhaps instead of, conventional benefits.

Natural capital is now an area that attracts government attention, in light of recent environmental and political challenges facing the UK. As the UK navigates these challenges, we guide our clients through complexity and risk, working with landowners, farmers and developers looking to achieve their sustainability ambitions incorporating carbon net zero, biodiversity, nutrient neutrality, rewilding, and more.

Navigating the natural capital legal landscape

Our Natural Capital team is at the forefront of advising clients and professionals on all elements of natural capital.

We are lucky enough to have an exceptionally strong natural capital team, led by one of the first lawyers to engage with emergent policy on natural capital, Ben Sharples. Ben has already completed numerous deals in this space and has been the architect in several novel and groundbreaking natural capital-related schemes that have since become embedded as the norm.

Our multidisciplinary team come from backgrounds that include expertise in environmental, commercial, corporate, real estate, and planning law. Each of them boasts a wealth of experience in natural capital, ensuring that we’re always ahead of the game in evolving environmental regulations and market dynamics, ensuring your investments remain future-proofed.

Balancing nutrients, fostering biodiversity

In an era where sustainable practices are paramount, our team can guide you through nutrient neutrality and biodiversity net gain with practicality in mind. Our approach ensures that your organisation not only meets environmental obligations but help you integrate these principles into your operations effectively, harmonising business and environmental goals.

Unlocking carbon markets and sustainable investments

Embracing carbon markets as a tool for emissions reduction and financial gain requires expertise. We’re your strategic advisors in this realm, offering guidance on carbon trading and emissions reduction strategies. Our assistance extends to identifying and facilitating your investment in carbon offset projects, making environmental and financial sustainability mutually beneficial.

Investing in natural capital markets

Investing in natural capital is a wise move, ethically and financially. We assist you in exploring investment opportunities in natural capital markets, channelling your resources into projects that contribute to a sustainable future. Whether it’s supporting reforestation initiatives, wetland restoration, or other environmentally-conscious projects, we ensure your investments make a meaningful impact.

Preserving nature for posterity with conservation covenants

Conservation covenants are potent legal tools to safeguard natural habitats and landscapes. Our expertise lies in crafting and implementing these covenants to protect your environmental investments for generations to come. Our legal team ensures that your commitment to conservation is not only legally binding but also impactful.

Landscape recovery and woodland creation

The vision of landscape scale recovery and woodland creation drives the UK’s environmental agenda. We specialise in helping landowners, businesses, and investors partake in these transformative initiatives. From navigating complex planning and regulatory requirements to securing funding for woodland creation projects, we’re your steadfast partners in realising these ambitious undertakings.

Harnessing the potential of blue carbon

Blue carbon ecosystems are becoming crucial allies in the climate battle. Our legal experts assist clients in understanding the regulatory intricacies of blue carbon projects. We ensure compliance with international agreements, supporting your efforts to protect and restore these invaluable coastal ecosystems.

Marine Net Gain

Our waters, including our coasts and oceans, are one of our most important Natural Capital assets. They provide a multitude of ecosystem services as well as food, energy and raw materials. Protecting and enhancing our marine habitats whilst facilitating marine activities and development is a considerable regulatory challenge. The UK Government are considering how a Marine Net Gain approach will restore our marine environment by improving both habitats and protecting species.