Conservation organisations, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Bird, the Wildlife Trust, the Woodland Trust, and the John Muir Trust, have long been buying up land in order to manage it for environmental aims. However, with new forms of subsidies, e.g. the Landscape Recovery Scheme, and money to be made from carbon offsetting and trading in carbon credits, there has been a rush to buy land in Scotland and parts of England and Wales. On the surface, it looks as if this is a positive trend, with land being managed to combat climate change and enhance biodiversity. However, we need to look more carefully at was is being referred to as a huge ‘land grab’. Land prices are going up, making it more difficult for communities or new entrants to farming to purchase land. Many question whether local communities, or the public in general, will see many economic or social benefits. Instead, landowners will receive public money to do things such as planting trees. In addition, the unequal system of land ownership is being maintained, just with different types of landowners. And, it is also unclear how much environmental benefit there will be.
Here is an article that explores in more depth this issue.