At the core of the Nature Conservation Trust (NCT) lies the covenant. What exactly is a covenant and how does a covenant work?

In its simplest form, a covenant is a permanently binding legal agreement between the NCT and an individual landholder. The agreement protects the property’s identified conservation area.


At the NCT, we also call covenants Trust Agreements.

These agreements are voluntary, and we work with landowners to negotiate and create them.

How does a covenant work?

The covenant sets out the landholder’s legal obligations as well as those of the NCT.

The covenant documents the conservation area on the property that contains high conservation value native vegetation. Areas of high conservation value refer to areas that have never been cleared. Or, the land may have been cleared long ago and has recovered enough to support a diverse range of species.

In the unlikely event of a disagreement between the parties, the covenant also guides resolution.

A covenant may apply to all, or part of a property. Every property is assessed according to a range of criteria.

To read the covenant criteria we use to assess a property, visit ‘How We Work’.

To understand the finer points about what’s included in a land covenant Trust Agreement – download our template agreement.

Understanding the conservation benefits of a covenant

A covenant creates protected habitat on private property that may be under threat from activities such as urban expansion, intensive land use, logging, clearing, over grazing, or commercial firewood harvesting.

A landholder may enter into a conservation covenant voluntarily to ensure that the work they do protecting biodiversity is continued. A covenant may enable the protection of a special area on a farm that can continue to be looked after, thereby creating a legacy for future generations. This kind of long term protection is often a great reassurance for landholders.

“The defining moment (sic) was when we realised that our interest was not about making a profit but about environmental stewardship for the future generations of our families and the local community.”

Amanda Solly, Caladenia Park near Albury.

Recording the covenant on the title of your land

Once the covenant is agreed to by you and the NCT, it is lodged as a Conservation Agreement with the Land & Property Information Service. The Agreement becomes a permanent feature on title and is passed on to subsequent property owners.

The Nature Conservation Trust covenant team is led by Nigel Jones with staff in each regional office.

To contact Nigel email