Our Beginnings and Ethos

   Our beginnings

Kate Hiseman is the founder and CEO of the Sustainable Land Trust, which she set up in 2014 after 25 years teaching sustainable land management and influencing spatial plans and development, as well as working to build the abilities of communities to create their own sustainable futures. 

 Our ethos

Our ethos is that for any project or activity we will try to maximise biodiversity and improve ecosystems, whilst at the same time providing as many social benefits as possible.

 Our work: nature and environment

Have you ever considered that every aspect of your daily life is made possible because of the services that our ecosystems provide? 

The Sustainable Land Trust aims to bring people closer to their natural environment and to value the services that nature provides to support society.   Kate and her team are based on the Burrough Court Estate; a 1,200 acre farming estate near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. The estate has two farms, and over 300 acres of habitats.

The Trust works in partnership with the land owners, universities, NGO’s, and others  to demonstrate the benefits that biodiverse landscapes and natural spaces can provide to people.

 Our work: people and communities

We use our skills as experienced educators, sustainability experts, and community development professionals to identify innovative and exciting ways to improve biodiversity and sustainably get the most social and economic benefits from nature. We work mainly across rural landscapes to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people and communities.

We work in several ways to bring people and nature together:

  • Green gym activities that involves practical hands on work to improve general health and fitness (forestry, conservation, rural crafts, construction, horticulture).
  • Education, research, and training to improve knowledge, skills, cognitive development and progression, and to build the capacity of others to make improvements in their own communities or landscapes.
  • Personal support to enable people to achieve their goals and build confidence.
  • Nature based interventions to improve mental health through small group and one to one support.
  • Improvements in quality of life through improvements in spaces and communities (e.g. community development, neighbourhood planning)
  • Skills training to improve social and economic outcomes
  • Bringing communities together through nature based activities and projects to help address specific environmental issues and promote the value that nature provides to society (e.g climate change, biodiversity loss/fragmentation, value of ecosystem services)
  • Linking people to their cultural roots through heritage crafts, stories and activities
  • Improving nutrition through involvement in growing, foraging and cooking
  • Innovation and demonstration to showcase good sustainable land practice.

We use the landscape around us and its resources to support and improve the lives of the vulnerable or disadvantaged (for example people with learning difficulties, the long term unemployed, those with chronic conditions, and those recovering from mental/ physical health issues or substance abuse).  In addition, our outreach work involves working with local authorities and community groups to help alleviate social and economic issues by identifying the benefits that local landscapes can provide, such as work experience, enterprise opportunities, or therapeutic care.

The Trust also provides outreach services, working with communities to help them sustainably manage their land and open spaces, whilst maximising their social and economic value.