To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the church is taking to support regenerative agriculture, plant more trees and be good stewards of hedgerows on its land.
17 June 2021
The Church Commissioners work with their tenants to support the good stewardship of their land and are currently undertaking a natural capital assessment of its estate. The majority of our agricultural land is tenanted, and the Commissioners new farm business tenancies strongly encourage good environmental practice such as ensuring watercourses are kept clear, hedgerows are well maintained, and topsoil is preserved.
The Church Commissioners direct landholdings currently total 184,700 acres as of the end of December 2020. 92,000 acres were in our Rural Portfolio, including land allocated for strategic development and 92,700 acres in our Timberland Portfolio. 120,500 acres (65%) of the Commissioners total land holding are in the UK, with the rest held across the globe. More detail can be found in the latest annual report, which is available here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-06/Church%20Commissioners%20Annual%20Report%202020.pdf