Land Reform Consultation

Friday 14 December 2012

Scotland’s landownership pattern is one of the most concentrated in the world.  The UN denies aid to some South American countries with less concentrated systems, unless land redistribution is carried out. (Cahill).  At present, 83.1% of rural land is privately owned by just 969 people.  (Wightman)

Eadha Enterprises are reporting to the Scottish Government's Land Reform Review Group (LRRG) as part of the current consultation exercise.  Eadha is promoting the strengthening of the current Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.

Eadha believes that providing communities with greater access to land and resources will empower them and will bring about lasting regeneration.

In rural Scotland, as journalist Lesley Riddoch points out:

…the single biggest obstacle to the transformation of Scottish rural communities is their lack of control over land…the Big Society in Scotland will remain forever blocked by the power of the Big Landowners – whoever wins at Holyrood.

The Government has asked LRRG to develop innovative and radical proposals that will contribute to Scotland’s future success. The Group expects to make a first report, outlining proposals that can be implemented relatively promptly, in May 2013.  LRRG wishes to draw on the experience and knowledge of both organisations and individuals with an involvement or interest in land ownership, access, farming, crofting, forestry, the natural heritage, social and affordable housing, planning, economic and community development.

As its Remit states, LRRG will identify how land reform will:

  • Enable more people in rural and urban Scotland to have a stake in the ownership, governance, management and use of land, which will lead to a greater diversity of land ownership, and ownership types, in Scotland;
  • Assist with the acquisition and management of land (and also land assets) by communities, to make stronger, more resilient and independent communities which have an even greater stake in their development;
  • Generate, support, promote and deliver new relationships between land, people, economy and environment in Scotland.

The LRRG will not be publishing submissions until 2014, however, Andy Wightman has published a number of submissions on his blog including our own. Click here to download.

For more information on the process visit the Land Reform Review.

Cahill, K Who Owns Britain? (2000)

Wightman, A, The Poor Had No Lawyers: Who Owns Scotland and How They Got It (2010) Birlinn.