Benefits for people & nature

Benefits for landowners and land users
Land stewardship offers deeply rewarding benefits for both landowners and land users, such as improvement of their lands, social acknowledgement, learning or personal satisfaction.

Benefits can also be of an economic nature, including free-of-cost conservation actions or economic benefits. The most obvious types of economic benefits are subsidies, incentives, tax exemptions or other compensation for taking certain actions. Stewardship organisations can also help landowners with volunteering work.

Stewardship can also generate economic benefit through market approaches, encouraging people to buy locally from producers, or to use ecotourism, outdoor learning, involved in stewardship agreements. Land stewardship can, therefore, be part of the new social green economy.

Stewardship benefits can be intergenerational, with long-term or even perpetual (in certain countries) agreements. Besides, land stewardship initiatives also offer a lot of benefits to the wider public, in terms of nature, health, educational and ethical benefits for those who come closer to nature.


Photo: Cogecstre

Benefits for nature
Many stewardship initiatives conserve biodiversity through the protection of habitats. This is perhaps the most straightforward objective of many stewardship agreements, and the driving force behind many European directives.

Similarly, stewardship can protect open space and fragile natural areas in the face of development pressures, especially in areas where planning controls are weak. In this case, stewardship acts as a voluntary mechanism in unison with regulatory tools. Stewardship can also play a role in responsible farming, and in the long term, it can improve the quality of the soil and underground water, and ensure local food production.

Sustaining traditional land uses, which often involve high nature value farming and small-scale forestry, are often a focus of land stewardship organisations because they recognise the importance for its ecological, economic and scenic values.

Brendan Dunford

Photo: Brendan Dunford

Read more about the benefits for nature and people in the online Land Stewardship Manual.

Best LIFE Information project

best life

The LANDLIFE project (LIFE10 INF/ES/540) will be awarded one of the 5 best LIFE Information projects 2015.

  • Landlife Congress
    • Land Trust Alliance Rally 2016

      National Land Conservation Conference (29th year of Rally). Minneapolis.
      Organized by the Land Trust Alliance. From 28th to 30th of October.

    • Natura 2000 Day

      Natura 2000 Day

      In May, people across Europe will get to celebrate the European Union's Natura 2000 network. A variety of exciting events are being organised at Natura 2000 sites on and around Saturday, 21 May 2016 for members of the public and visitors to these protected havens.

    • Workshop on sustainable forestry in the UK

      The 1st workshop in a series of 4 will take place in Milverton, Somerset, UK from 17-20 March 2016.



LandLife (LIFE10 INF/ES/540) has been made possible by the European Commission’s LIFE programme. For more information, please visit