What is a land trust?

Land trusts are non-profit, charitable organizations that actively work to protect land or conservation easements for the purpose of conservation for future generations. They are generally local in scope and operation, but can be provincial, regional, or even national. Most land trusts focus on protecting and restoring local habitats to support native biodiversity in their regions. They are active in their communities in terms of offering volunteer opportunities as well as community events and programs to get the community engaged with their local nature.

Land trusts are non-governmental organizations that source their funding through private donations, grants, corporate sponsorships and fundraising.  Often, land trusts will partner with government agencies to acquire or manage land, research open space needs and priorities, or assist in the development of community open space plans.

All donations to TTLT are eligible for tax credits.

Who is Thames Talbot Land Trust?

Thames Talbot Land Trust (TTLT) was incorporated in 2000 as a Canadian Registered Charity. We are a mixture of staff, volunteers, and Board and Committee members all striving towards the same goal. We have an open general membership, which is responsible for annually electing a volunteer Board of Directors.

What type of land does TTLT protect?

We protect lands and waters of natural, agricultural and cultural significance.

How does TTLT acquire land?

We acquire land through donation, either through an outright gift or an interest in the land known as a conservation easement/agreement, or purchase. A conservation easement is an agreement between the landowner and an organization that goes directly on the land title and restricts certain activities on the land to meet conservation standards. As a charity, the preferred method to acquire land is by donation.

My church group/school group/association is looking to get involved with a restoration project. Do you have any projects for us?

Contact us. We have many opportunities throughout the year for volunteers to undertake work at any one of our sites. Tasks may include planting, invasive species control, clean up, and trail maintenance. Our nature reserves benefit greatly from dedicated volunteers.

What do you do with a property once you have ownership and it has been restored to its natural state? Who has access? What types of activities are permitted?

The management plan for each nature reserve will include its intended uses. Some will be closed conservation areas; others have trail systems and interpretive signage to welcome the public.

Specific uses are determined at the time of acquisition. Passive recreation such as hiking is generally encouraged. Uses that are incompatible with conservation goals are prohibited, including motorized vehicles, mountain biking, off-leash dogs, removing vegetation, camping, and horseback riding.

How does TTLT ensure it will be able to maintain nature reserves in the future?

Each TTLT nature reserve has a stewardship endowment. This is a sum of capital that is invested to produce an annual income equal to the anticipated fixed costs of ownership such as insurance, taxes, monitoring and maintenance. The capital is retained with only the interest being spent each year.

I want my donation to go toward maintaining a specific nature reserve. Is that possible?

Certainly. We can add any amount to the Stewardship endowment at the London Community Foundation. Donors can also contribute directly to the TTLT fund at London Community Foundation.

How does the Trust protect its financial capital to care for the lands forever?

TTLT has a Finance Committee made up of financial experts which help to advise the organization’s needs. Stewardship Endowments are held within the TTLT Fund at the London Community Foundation. This professionally managed pool of investments produces a reliable annual return and also preserves the capital through re-investment.

Do you do any landscape restoration on lands not owned by the trust? Can you recommend someone who does?

TTLT does not undertake projects on private land except in those cases where we hold a conservation easement. We will gladly connect you with other sources of assistance such as your local conservation authority or stewardship council.

What happens if TTLT folds?

Our policy of securing stewardship funds with each new nature reserve makes this unlikely. In the event of the dissolution of a charity, Canadian law requires that its assets pass to another charity with similar aims and objects (e.g. Nature Conservancy of Canada). The stewardship endowments would go with the nature reserves.


Still have a question? Contact us at [email protected].