Gift Your Land to the Ecological Land Cooperative (2023)


Do you have land that you would like to ensure stays in ecological agriculture in the future? Would you like your land to support the next generation of agroecological farmers?

The Ecological Land Cooperative is a not-for-profit community benefit cooperative, creating access to land for new entrants to ecological farming.

We have huge ambitions, but we need your help. We are inviting landowners to consider gifting land to the ELC, to help support a new generation of agroecological farmers- now and into the future.

We want to see a living, working countryside where land is used for the good of rural economies, food security and the natural world.

The ELC achieves this vision by developing clusters of low-impact smallholdings, which are held in perpetuity for ecological agriculture. We create opportunities for new entrants to agroecological to buy or rent the land on  affordable 150 year leases, providing access to land that would otherwise be unattainable for many.

Since the purchase of our first site in Mid-Devon in 2009, the ELC has flourished. We have supported new farming entrants to create nine agroecological enterprises over five sites, with more smallholdings in the pipeline.

We have big aspirations here at the ELC, yet our largest challenge is accessing land.

You can help support agroecological farming in the UK by gifting land to the Ecological Land Cooperative. 

All our land is protected for ecological agriculture in perpetuity, and managed sensitively with the needs of biodiversity and the local community in mind.

We understand that gifting land is not possible for many landowners, but we would also be interested to speak to you if you have suitable land for sale at a favourable rate.

Next steps

Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions page to find out more about the Ecological Land Cooperative, how we manage our land and smallholdings, and how you can gift your land.

If you would like to find out more about supporting the Ecological Land Cooperative through gifts of land, please contact us 

Contact Us - Ecological Land Cooperative

For farmers

High land prices and limited government support make it really difficult for new entrants to farming to get started. With the average age of UK farmers pushing 60, it’s vital that a new, diverse generation are supported into farming. Here at the Ecological Land Cooperative, we develop truly affordable smallholdings for new entrants to agroecological farming, making access to land a reality for all – not just the few.

For nature

The farming sector is often blamed for damage to biodiversity, habitats and ecosystem. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here at the Ecological Land Cooperative, we believe that we can produce good, healthy food without undermining nature. 

Each of our smallholdings is subject to an ecological management plan, which we monitor annually. Greenham Reach, our oldest site, has shown significant ecological gains since 2009. 

Once degraded pasture, recent ecological reports have shown that the mosaic of sensitively managed grazing, tree cover, and horticultural areas meant the site is now “of considerable local importance for nectar and pollen-feeding insects, and an important site for demonstrating possibilities for environmental enhancement in a small area”.

For climate

Climate change is the biggest threat humanity faces. We believe that by careful land management and reduction of energy intensive inputs, agriculture can be a force for good in tackling climate change. 

Through our robust ecological management plans we require our farmers to actively reduce their enterprises’ greenhouse gas emissions. This includes providing farmers with green electricity, reducing the amount of traffic, and prohibiting the use of energy intensive fertilisers.

Additionally, we encourage farmers to increase the carbon sequestration potential of their farms through planting hedgerows and areas of woodland.

For ever

Building up a successful farm business takes years, and stewarding land for nature and climate takes generations. However, the average lease for farm tenants in the UK is only five years. 

The planning permission we seek for on-site residential accommodation requires that the land will always have an agricultural tie on it. This means that the land will always be used for agricultural enterprises, and cannot be sold on the free market. 

We offer our farmers 150 year leaseholds, so they feel secure to invest in the land and build an enterprise to pass on down the generations.
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