Land services

Landowner support

How we can help with conservation on your land

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Biodiversity on your land

Across Victoria, Trust for Nature works with landholders to protect and improve habitat on private land.

There are suite of services that Trust for Nature offers to landholders to assist you protect and improve habitat on your property. This could include help with mapping biodiversity features on your land, developing a plan to improve habitat conditions for threatened species, helping you implement actions that manage threats to biodiversity such as pest plants and animals, or increasing available habitat through revegetation works. 

Where government funding is available for work on private property, we also regularly set up collaborative projects with our partner agencies including the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, each of the ten Catchment Management Authorities, Parks Victoria, and Traditional Owner groups.  

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Conservation covenants

The ultimate form of habitat protection on private land in Victoria is a Trust for Nature conservation covenant, which is a legally binding agreement with landowners. Its purpose is to permanently conserve and protect the natural, cultural or scientific assets of the land. This agreement is voluntary and negotiated between Trust for Nature and each individual landowner. Once agreed, the covenant is registered on the title and protects habitat forever. Our Stewardship Program allows Trust for Nature to work with landowners to improve the condition of the covenanted habitat. 

Property services

Assessing your land

Do you need help in identifying the plants and animals on your property? Trust for Nature’s conservation officers can undertake flora and fauna assessments of your property. These assessments will tell you what the key biodiversity features of your property are, and this information can help inform your choices about siting new buildings or making decisions about land uses.

Mapping biodiversity

Our staff are experienced in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and can create mapping solutions from field data collected during assessments on your property, or from databases and existing landscape-scale maps to provide desktop studies of the biodiversity features on your property.

Revegetation

Trust for Nature works closely with Catchment Management Authorities and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to attract funding for revegetation projects on private land within our priority areas, especially where revegetation supports the recovery of populations of threatened plants and animals. A key element of habitat restoration is planting new trees, shrubs, grasses and herbs, which can either supplement the existing native vegetation in an area, or restore habitat to an area which is currently devoid of native vegetation. When planning to plant trees and shrubs, the selection of plant species can be really important to ensure food resources are available all year round for threatened animals with particular dietary needs.

Monitoring

Regularly surveying areas of habitat is important to understand what is happening in nature. Trust for Nature’s staff can help you learn how to survey your property – this could include using photopoints to show changes over time, remote trail cameras, or keeping records of the animals you see on your property. Trust for Nature’s conservation officers also undertake a range of other scientific survey methods for projects in our priority areas, including monitoring plants using transects or quadrats, and surveys for threatened animals using a range of specialised techniques including catch-and-release trapping, and nocturnal spotlighting.

Please note that landowners may require permits for some types of monitoring – Trust for Nature holds these relevant permits for all the work that we do.

Pest plant and animal control

Pest plant and animal control programs are most successful when they are coordinated between neighbouring properties, which is why Trust for Nature collaborates with Catchment Management Authorities, Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to plan and deliver pest plant and animal control programs that work jointly across private and public land. We focus our efforts where these programs actively support the recovery of populations of threatened plants and animals. 

Finding and applying for projects on your land

Finding and applying for projects on your land

In some areas, these types of activities may be partly or fully funded by grants from the Victorian or Australian Government. In other areas, landholders can engage Trust for Nature themselves for assistance with managing biodiversity on their land. We are a not-for-profit organization, and this is reflected in our service fees. 

If you have on-ground works that you would like to achieve on your property, contacting the local Trust for Nature manager in your region is a good place to start a conversation about what types of financial support might exist to be able to improve habitat on your property. Our focus is on properties that fall within Trust for Nature’s priority areas, which are detailed in our Statewide Conservation Plan. Properties with habitat for threatened plants and animals, or threatened ecological communities (such as native grasslands, woodlands or wetlands) are prioritised. 

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Conservation planning

We have over 40 years’ experience strategically planning conservation outcomes using best environmental practice. This typically ranges across landscapes and large parcels of land. We have worked with single government agencies for a specific site, right up to collaborative approaches with many landholders and communities. Trust for Nature has dedicated conservation planners on staff, so if you or your community are interested in looking at a landscape approach to conservation in your area, please get in touch.

Biodiversity offsets

Trust for Nature's biodiversity offset program can facilitate funding to support the management of their land for environmental purposes, and businesses a means of meeting their planning permit requirements.

A biodiversity offset is an agreement where a landowner undertakes to protect and improve the quality of native vegetation on their land to balance the approved removal of habitat elsewhere. Under the offset agreement, the proponent provides funds to the landowner to meet this legal obligation.

Trust for Nature is not involved in planning decisions that may involve the removal of native vegetation. Its role, identified in the Victorian and Commonwealth regulatory frameworks, is to protect offset sites through a conservation covenant and provide ongoing monitoring to ensure the gain in habitat quality is achieved.

Engagement of Trust for Nature in biodiversity offsets can lead to:

  • Greater certainty that the compensation for loss will be achieved as a result of support for the landowner provided through its stewardship program,
  • Improved conservation outcomes through identifying offset sites in its Statewide Conservation Plan that best contribute to biodiversity protection
  • Using funds from offsets strategically to contribute to broader, landscape approaches that combine a range of other conservation tools such as land purchase, incentives, philanthropy and the Revolving Fund.

Under State and Federal legislation, the unavoidable removal of native vegetation on one site may require the protection and enhancement of similar vegetation at another.  A biodiversity offset is an agreement where a landowner undertakes to protect and improve the quality of native vegetation on their land to permit the approved removal of vegetation elsewhere.

Trust for Nature connects businesses who have an offset requirement with landowners who have a suitable vegetation match. We develop an offset agreement and a covenant for the landowner that creates a legal obligation to improve native vegetation over a 10 year period and protect it forever. Under the offset agreement, the business provides funds to the landowner to meet this legal obligation. Trust for Nature facilitates this payment as well as the documentation required to meet the planning approval.

Entering into a Biodiversity Offset agreement can financially contribute to the effective management of your land and help you achieve the conservation goals you have for your property.

Get in touch

Ready to talk about conservation options for your property?

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