Many people are now turning to conservation covenants to help safeguard their bushland, gardens, native plants, animals and birds.
A conservation covenant is an agreement entered into by a landowner with The Trust for Nature. Once the terms of the covenant have been agreed upon, the covenant is registered on the title and will bind future owners of the land.

* The agreement is entirely voluntary and is drawn up in order to achieve the conservation objectives of the landowner.

* Owners of land of special interest may covenant with The Trust for Nature with respect to the development or use of land and to protect bushland, trees, rock formations, wetlands, buildings or other features.

* The Trust can assist with expert advice and planning in order to achieve these objectives for the particular area.

* The landowner can be assured that the conservation controls will be permanent. It is not like a council's planning scheme which can be amended at any time and depends upon control and enforcement by a council which at times may have little interest in the land or in conservation.

* More importantly, land which is covenanted is likely to attract a potential owner interested in nature conservation.

* Covenants also provide a means by which a group of owners can band together to seek conservation of a particular habitat or feature which may extend across individual property boundaries.

* Experience overseas has shown that a conservation covenant may increase the value of the land in many cases because of the added status and better land uses which may be encouraged. Where an owner requires financial assistance, an application may be lodged with the Trust for Nature and genuine cases are considered.

* Once land is covenanted, rating authorities are required to take this into account and rates and taxes would normally be reduced if the land would otherwise be capable of development.

* Complete or partial exemption from rates and taxes may be obtained in cases where 'preservation of the land in its natural state is not economically feasible'.

* In special circumstances, a covenant could provide for public access on a controlled basis.

* Covenants may also provide a mechanism for owners jointly with government to achieve specific conservation objectives for example, in return for grants or loans.

* Once the covenant is executed, The Trust for Nature is pledged to ensure in the future that its spirit and intent are observed. The power to covenant is derived from the Victorian Conservation Trust Act. Covenants are fully enforceable, flexible, and by agreement may contain positive obligations unlike restrictive covenants which developed under common law.

Photo: K Sparrow

Left to right: Treasurer - Kevin Sparrow, Chairman - John Sherwood and Secretary - Kathy Baulch sign legal documents to finalise the covenant on the property. Click on logo for covenant information from Trust for Nature


Original Design by productions.
July 13th 1999
Redesigned by Kevspa Designs March 2007.