Media Release: Scotland’s land; what next?


A MAJOR conference next week will discuss whether it is possible to find a consensual way forward for land reform in Scotland.

Speakers at the event include land campaigner, Andy Wightman, and Sarah-Jane Laing of Scottish Land & Estates, who will both be in conversation with event chair, Alison Elliot.

Dr Elliot led the Scottish Government’s Land Reform Review Group, whose wide-ranging recommendations formed the basis of legislation which First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has described as “unfinished business” for Holyrood.

Ewen Cameron, Tom Devine’s successor as the Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish History and Paleography at the University of Edinburgh, will open the event with A Brief History of Scotland’s Land, providing the context for subsequent debates.

Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, will argue that good land information is the basis for good land legislation, while Kate Thomson-McDermott will outline The Scottish Government’s aim to make land “an asset that benefits the many not the few”.

Academic, Malcolm Combe, from the University of Aberdeen, will deliver his critique of community buy-outs in Scotland against the backdrop of the proposal to drive up significantly the proportion of community-owned land.

Peter Peacock, of Community Land Scotland, will argue that when it works well, community ownership ‘ticks all the boxes’.

Robert Scott-Dempster of event sponsor, Gillespie Macandrew, will ask if we are entering a ‘legal minefield’, while Ian Cooke of the Development Trusts Association Scotland will address the urban aspect of land reform and ask if it is being overlooked.

Edward Baxter of East Neuk Estates will describe a modern model of estate ownership.

All media are welcome to attend the event, on Tuesday 2nd June at The National Galleries of Scotland, The Mound, Edinburgh, The event starts at 9am and finishes around 115pm.

The full agenda is here.

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