Most of Scotland’s land is owned by a tiny percentage (0.008%) of the population. Recently investing in Highland estates by the so called ‘Green Lairds’ mainly for tax purposes has again brought into sharp focus who does actually own and manage Scotland’s land.
The Scottish Government has launched a consultation in preparation for a Bill going forward to the Scottish Parliament on land reform.
Chair of Community Land Scotland Ailsa Raeburn said:
“Community Land Scotland warmly welcome the launch of the Consultation on the forthcoming Land Reform Bill. It is becoming ever clearer that who owns and controls land, is incredibly important in building a fairer greener Scotland.
“We very much hope the new Bill encompasses a range of measures that effectively tackles the endemic issues of scale and concentration of land ownership and the adverse effects this has on local communities. The Bill is a great opportunity to ensure Scotland’s land is owned and used fairly and that as many people as possible can benefit from it.”
It is believed that Scotland has a more concentrated pattern of large scale private land ownership than is found in any other country in the world.
Over the summer the Scottish Government is consulting on the proposed Land Reform Bill.
Click on this link: Land reform in a Net Zero Nation: consultation paper
A series of public meetings will also be taking place
The Minister for Environment and Land Reform, Mairi McAllan, will be holding four public meetings between 6:00pm and 8:00pm at the following venues:
- The Buccleuch Centre, Langholm on Wednesday 20 July 2022 (EventBrite link)
- Glenmoriston Millenium Hall, Invermoriston on Monday 25 July 2022 (EventBrite link)
- Timespan, Helmsdale on Tuesday 26 July 2022 (EventBrite link)
- Stornoway Town Hall, Stornoway on Wednesday 27 July 2022 (EventBrite link)
The Minister will also be holding an online event between 6:30pm and 8:00pm on Thursday 21 July 2022 (EventBrite link).
Click on this link to the consultation: Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation which closes on 25th September 2022
Mairi McAllan said:
“Land reform is a pervasive issue in Scotland. We have a strong record of progressive and innovative land reform – but this journey is not complete. We must continue to develop and implement land reform that addresses historical inequalities and at the same time, we must rise to changing social, environmental and economic issues in contemporary Scotland.
“I recognise, and am fully committed to tackling, the adverse effects of scale and concentration of landownership – and empowering communities in the process.
“I am also clear that while investment in Scotland’s natural capital is vital to tackle the climate and nature emergencies, we must ensure that our people and communities are not disadvantaged and indeed can benefit.
“Finally, we must continue to improve transparency of ownership of land in Scotland.
“That’s why this summer we will be consulting on a wide range of transformative proposals – including our aim to ensure that the public interest is considered on transfers of particularly large-scale landholdings. The new Bill will be a significant step forward in ensuring our land is owned diversely and is used in the public interest and to the benefit of the people of Scotland. This is the next step on Scotland’s land reform journey as we continue the work to pass more power to people and local communities, encourage and support responsible and diverse landownership and ensure communities have a say in how land in is used.”
Chair of the Scottish Land Commission Andrew Thin said:
“The ways land is owned and used is central to tackling the climate emergency, contributing to a successful economy and supporting communities. It is great to see the Government launch the consultation of the upcoming Land Reform Bill which includes a range of potential measures to ensure that the benefit of land is shared by all.
“The Scottish Land Commission has been working over the last five years to provide a robust evidence base for our recommendations on making land work better in the public interest, highlighting the opportunity land reform can bring to Scotland and its people. I would encourage everyone to take part in the consultation and help to shape the next step in Scotland’s land reform journey.”
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