Farmers who want to be considered for a progression tenancy on the Duchy of Cornwall’s estate will have to demonstrate strong environmental and social credentials, as well as presenting a viable business plan.
The 15-year farm business tenancy is being offered for Tresemple Farm, near Truro – an 87ha mixed holding with a range of new livestock buildings due to be completed this summer.
But the Duchy is also in the process of establishing a natural resource management plan (RMP) for its entire 53,000ha estate, to identify priority habitats and areas in need of protection and enhancement.
This includes so-called “natural capitals” such as soil conservation, clean water and catchment management, biodiversity, public access and sustainable forest management.
The successful tenant will be expected to enter into a “memorandum of understanding” (MRU) alongside the tenancy agreement, committing them to working towards the Duchy’s environmental targets.
“The MRU is not designed to restrict farming practice, nor is it a promise of funds by either party,” said a Duchy statement. “It is a joint understanding from both landlord and tenant to work together to cherish and improve the environmental resource present on the farm and wider estate.”
According to the farm particulars, suitable actions might include implementing permanent grass margins around arable plots, replanting parkland trees, hedge laying and providing habitat for wetland birds.
A spokeswoman explained that the review of the Duchy’s natural capital base and how to improve it started last year, but this is the first time it has been built into a new tenancy offer.
The tender deadline for Tresemple Farm is 16 April, with a start date of 29 September 2018.