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(1)This section has effect as respects land which is not for the time being managed as a nature reserve but which is or forms part of an area which in the opinion of the Natural Environment Research Council (in this section referred to as " the Council") is of special interest by reason of its flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features.
(2)Where, for the purpose of conserving those flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features, it appears to the Council expedient in the national interest to do so, the Council may enter into an agreement with the owners, lessees and occupiers of any such land which imposes restrictions on the exercise of rights over land by the persons who can be bound by the agreement.
(3)Any such agreement—
(a)may provide for the carrying out on the land of such work and the doing thereon of such other things as may be expedient for the purposes of the agreement,
(b)may provide for any of the matters mentioned in paragraph (a) above being carried out, or for the cost thereof being defrayed, either by the owners or other persons, or by the Council, or partly in one way and partly in another, and
(c)may contain such other provisions as to the making of payments by the Council as may be specified in the agreement.
(4)Where section 79 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (burden of covenant running with the land) applies to any such restrictions as are mentioned in subsection (2) of this section, the Council shall have the like rights as respects the enforcement of the restrictions as if the Council had at all material times been the absolute owner in possession of ascertained land adjacent to the land in respect of which the restriction is sought to be enforced, and capable of being benefited by the restriction, and the restriction had been expressed to be for the benefit of that adjacent land. Section 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (discharge or modification of restrictive covenants) shall not apply to such a restriction.
(5)Schedule 2 to the Forestry Act 1967 (powers of tenants for life and other limited owners to enter into forestry dedication covenants or agreements) shall apply to any agreement made in pursuance of this section as it applies to such a covenant or agreement.
(6)This section shall apply to Scotland but there shall be substituted for subsection (4) the following subsection—
(4)An agreement under this section may be recorded in the Register of Sasines, and if so recorded shall be enforceable at the instance of the Council against any person having an interest in the land and against any person deriving title from him:
Provided that such an agreement shall not be enforceable against any third party who shall have in good faith and for value acquired right (whether completed by infeftment or not) to his interest in the land prior to the agreement being recorded as aforesaid, or against any person deriving title from such third party.
(7)The Act of 1949 shall have effect as if this section were included in Part III of that Act.
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