TWO massive Scottish estates have been bought by a conservation firm aiming to tackle “climate change and the biodiversity crisis”.

A total of some 23,000 acres have been taken over by Oxygen Conservation, thanks to £20.55 million in commercial backing from Triodos Bank.

Half of the total land area – around 11,390 acres – was bought from the Buccleuch Estate. The land is on Langholm Moor, known as Blackburn and Hartsgarth, near the English border.

The other half – some 11,610 acres – are on the estate at Invergeldie, near Comrie in Perthshire.

Oxygen Conservation said it will aim to use the land to generate a “positive economic return as a result of its work, not as its purpose”.

READ MORE: Rewilding project to buy 3400-acre Scottish estate after fundraising success

The company, which is based in Exeter in Devon, will engage in a “diverse range of projects” to do this, including species reintroduction, regenerative agriculture, woodland creation, renewable energy generation, sustainable housing, eco-tourism, and carbon sequestration through woodland and peatland restoration.

The £20.55m package from Triodos is thought to be the largest conservation-focused commercial debt package in the UK to date, according to Oxygen Conservation.

The firm’s managing director, Rich Stockdale, said: “Triodos is changing what it means to be a bank. That’s why, when we were looking for someone to partner with to put together a significant conservation-based debt package, there was only one answer. We are so proud to stand side by side with them today.

“It’s only by creating these types of funding packages and frameworks with respected financial institutions that people can have the confidence to allow private finance to flow into natural capital at scale – thereby funding the protection of the natural world. Thank you to everyone at Triodos for their passion, vision and commitment to making this possible.

“We will now do everything we can to only deliver positive environmental and social impact at our incredible sites.”

The firm said the newest acquisitions would add to its growing portfolio of land which includes the Leighon Estate in Dartmoor, Wood Advent Farm in Exmoor, Esgair Arth, near Aberaeron in Wales, Swineley in the Yorkshire Dales, and a stretch of the Firth of Tay, near Dundee.

Bevis Watts, chief executive of Triodos Bank UK, added: “Urgent restoration of the natural environment is essential to both tackling and being resilient to climate change, and the scale of investment needed is significant. We need to see ourselves as part of natural systems and create a new economy that is connected to the natural environment on which it depends.

“We have worked for over five years to find models for investing in nature restoration that deliver the greatest public good. Oxygen Conservation is pioneering a brand-new approach to protecting and restoring nature and its commitment to deliver positive environmental and social impact, while generating a sustainable financial return, very much aligns with our own values as a bank.

“This loan, which adds to our pioneering portfolio of nature-based investment projects, is fully committed for 25 years, and is understood to be the largest debt transaction on nature-based finance in the UK. We’re extremely proud to be working together on this groundbreaking finance structure and hope to see similar projects around the UK.”