Trial of the Natural Capital Protocol for land-based businesses

The aim of the project was to explore the degree to which the Natural Capital Protocol is applicable and useful to land-based businesses in Scotland. It assessed whether the Protocol can help land-based businesses better understand their impacts and dependencies on the natural environment and identified the benefits arising, for example in terms of profitability and long term resilience. The work involved desk-based preparation, trialling the Protocol with three land-based businesses – a lowland mixed farm, an upland cattle and sheep farm, and an upland mixed estate – analysis and reporting. The trial was extended to a lowland dairy farm in 2019. Alongside an overview report and four business reports, a summary guide and presentation were prepared to disseminate the findings to land managers and advisors. See

The trial has been really useful in helping to increase my awareness of how our business may impact natural environment. It’ll help us to make more informed decisions about how to improve our farming operations going forward, both in economic and environmental terms.

Jim Simmons, Tenant Farmer

The farms involved in the trial have already been long involved in taking a sustainable approach to land management, including riparian and hedgerow planting, soil improvement and wildflower management. Even with those good practices in place, they still found the Protocol really helpful in planning the long-term potential of their land.

Andrew Wells, Crown Estate Scotland