Bates Wells has advised Woodland Savers, an organisation developing a new model of UK woodland ownership, in their recent investment round.

The new venture focuses on building a national network of community initiatives. It will help them co-acquire and co-manage local woodlands and co-develop projects delivering nature recovery and enhancement. Revenues will be generated through natural capital credits, woodland produce, partnerships and visitor services.

Recently, Woodland Savers completed its seed investment fundraising round securing £.7m for community woodlands in the UK. This was led by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and included £476k equity and £210k match-finance for local projects. A number of investors backed the venture including the Carman Family Foundation and individual impact investors.

The Bates Wells team involved in completing the transaction included David Hunter, Sophie Pender and Nirav Patel.

David Hunter says, “Bates Wells are increasingly recognising that if we want to have a positive impact as solicitors, re-designing our relationships with the rest of the natural world is at the very heart of this. Woodland Savers embrace this premise and are enabling ordinary people across the country to achieve it in their own localities by being the conduit and directing finance to where it can have ecological impact. We are proud to work for clients combining vision and action in such a manner.”

Sophie Pender says, “It is fantastic to be working with Woodland Savers in their mission to help UK communities to acquire, protect and regenerate local natural landscapes. This is a significant step forward for the organisation and will greatly benefit the community land and nature movement.”