Fera launches new land assessment service

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A new service to measure, monitor and assess natural capital has been launched by Fera. Combining data and science, LAND360, accurately measures and maps existing land habitat features and models biodiversity offerings to help farmers, landowners and managers make informed decisions.

“With the introduction of the environmental land management scheme (ELMs) and the drive to manage land in a way that recognises ‘public money for public good’, it’s clear that landowners need to understand the extent of the natural capital they have,” explains Guy Thallon, Fera strategic business development manager.

“This baseline understanding will mean opportunities can be identified and realised to help secure businesses that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

“However, to achieve this, sourcing accurate data and using the latest science is fundamental, hence the reason for launching LAND360,” adds Mr Thallon.

Based on three hierarchical levels of service, LAND360 uses the expertise of Fera’s multidisciplinary scientists, alongside the latest software and scientific assessment techniques to map alternative land use scenarios bespoke to each business. 

High resolution satellite imagery

“LAND360 Mapping+ involves the analysis and interpretation of high-resolution satellite imagery to create a detailed baseline of natural capital resources,” says Mr Thallon. 

“Scoring+ takes this a step further and uses proven methods to assess the quality of natural capital using the insight gained through Mapping+ combined with more detailed ecological and biodiversity scoring. 

“Finally, Ecosystem+ is a bespoke consultancy service where land use proposals are developed in conjunction with land managers, Fera scientists and ecologists to identify opportunities for future land use and revenue streams. These recommendations are based on scientific data gathered on available natural capital, business performance and market options,” he adds.

Research scientists at Fera, have a long track record of supporting government and policy in monitoring and evaluating agri-environment schemes designed to support environmental sustainability. 

“This puts us in a great position to offer this service at a time when there’s great uncertainty around support payments,” says Mr Thallon.

“By getting started on this now, once the detail of schemes is known and roll-out is unveiled, sites that have undertaken an assessment will be in a great position to mobilise their plans and begin managing land for the future.”

To find out more about LAND360 visit the website https://www.fera.co.uk/land360-land-management

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