Land Purchase Facility

Woodland Trust

The Land Purchase Facility supports our partner conservation organisations to purchase land of high current or potential conservation value.

Our £10m Land Purchase Facility is used to purchase land of high current or potential conservation value. Once purchased we lease the land to our partner conservation organisation (the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts and the Woodland Trust) with the option for them to buy in two years’ time at the price Esmée paid for it plus a small interest charge, with all returns recycled back into the facility. This gives the organisation a window to fundraise.

As of June 2021, the facility has approved £21.7m of investment into 35 pieces of land and been 100% successful in transferring ownership to our partner organisations.



We developed our bespoke Land Purchase Facility in response to environmental organisations highlighting the challenges they faced in securing land of high conservation value due to insufficient reserves and time.

Impact goals

In line with our approach to social investment, this investment meets our objective for impact-first direct investments to support responsible solutions to market failure.

It will also help us achieve our impact goals in Our Natural World:

  • Preserved and improved species and habitats
Ann Rooney Evans, Head of Grants and Trusts, Woodland Trust

The Land Purchase Facility is a truly innovative, effective funding mechanism that is really appreciated at the Woodland Trust; it has enabled us to take on projects that we couldn’t have pursued, and safeguard woodland that otherwise would have been lost. Having the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation playing to their strengths alongside us, provides us with the practical space and confidence to undertake fundraising at scale, and to operate credibly in a fast-moving land market. This allows us to concentrate on doing our best for woods, trees and people.

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