‘A Practical Guide to Payments for Environmental Services’ by Ben Sharples


Paperback: 978-1-916698-00-0
Publication due: July 2024
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The market for environmental services is expanding rapidly and professional advisors are having to understand how natural capital assets can be monetised and deals structured. This book aims to provide an overview of the market for nature based solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss. It looks in detail at the vanguard markets of statutory biodiversity net gain and nutrient neutrality but also considers the established carbon markets and the emerging world of corporate investment in the natural environment.

The devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are at different stages on their respective journeys and much more will be written about those countries when they finalise their policies in this area. For now, an outline of their approach is provided. The payment of public money in support of landowners and farmers is also considered and the way that this income can be blended with private finance. Finally, tax is dealt with as it is an ever present consideration and one which is a major factor for landowners and corporates alike.

There is a huge opportunity for the rural sector in providing some of the solutions to the many environmental problems we face. This book is intended to be a practical guide to this subject area and will hopefully be of use to both the experienced practitioner and those sitting exams for academic or professional qualifications.


Ben Sharples is a Partner in Michelmores’ Agriculture team and heads the Firm’s Natural Capital Group. He is dual-qualified having originally trained as a Chartered Surveyor and Valuer before becoming a Solicitor. Ben brings legal, estate management, environmental and valuation expertise to the issue of structuring deals. Ben has spent over 25 years advising clients on their use of the oldest asset, land, and is now assisting them with the emergence of the latest asset class in the form of natural capital.

Ben is recognised as a leading advisor in this emerging cross-sector discipline and he sits on both the Property and Environment & Land Use Committees of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers. Ben was one of the first lawyers to engage with emergent policy on natural capital and has been the architect in several novel natural capital schemes that have now become the norm.


Chapter One – Review of Current Landscape
Chapter Two – Carbon
Chapter Three – Biodiversity
Chapter Four – Nutrient Neutrality
Chapter Five – The Corporate Market
Chapter Six – Agricultural Market & ELMS
Chapter Seven – Landlord & Tenant Issues
Chapter Eight – Green Finance
Chapter Nine – Taxation
Chapter Ten – Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland