REVIVE publishes new land reform report described as “tipping point in the debate”

REVIVE, the coalition for grouse moor reform in Scotland, has published a second report this week, following yesterday’s report on how grouse moor reform could create tens of thousands of jobs (see here).

Today’s report was commissioned by REVIVE and authored by the New Economics Foundation and Common Weal and is called ‘Our Land: A vision for land reform and how we get there‘.

Here is a press release about it:

Groundbreaking report outlines road map towards land reform in Scotland

“This report is a tipping point in the debate”, says Andy Wightman

A groundbreaking report published today (17 March 2021) outlines a comprehensive toolkit of policies and actions providing a roadmap towards land reform in Scotland. The report by the New Economics Foundation and the Common Weal think tank has been described by land reform expert Andy Wightman MSP as ‘the tipping point in the debate”.

‘Our Land’, commissioned by REVIVE the coalition for grouse moor reform, provides an analysis of why concentrated land ownership is harming Scotland; sets out a comprehensive plan for proper reform; demonstrates that it is legal and possible within the powers Scotland already has and; sets out a vision for what a new Scottish landscape could look like.

Land reform in Scotland has been debated for centuries, punctuated with landmark works which have shown what is wrong with land ownership in Scotland, how it happened and what harm it has done to the country. Until now there has not been a comprehensive plan of how to challenge and change the situation. That is what this report does. It makes a detailed economic case for the way that concentrated land ownership has held back Scotland and its communities; assesses the legality of land reform and; sets out a vision for what it could mean to Scotland if land reform was achieved. But at the heart of the report is a comprehensive toolkit of actions and policies which can be used to make this happen.

Scotland’s best known land reform expert Andy Wightman MSP, an advisor on the report, said:

This report provides a commonsense approach to tackling land reform in Scotland. The land question is centuries old, yet Governments have repeatedly shied away from it.

This report is a tipping point in the debate and provides solutions which are in the gift of the Scottish Parliament to implement. I wholeheartedly endorse this comprehensive, well-researched and sensible approach to deal with the inequality and unfairness of land ownership in Scotland“.

Leading land reform activist, journalist and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch who contributed the foreword for the report added:

All the recommendations in this landmark report are legal within the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament, in line with international law, practised elsewhere and ready to be enacted now in Scotland. All that’s missing is the political will to mobilise a cross-party alliance, tackle age-old fears of confronting Scotland’s big landowners and finally achieve the transformation dreamed about by generations of our forebears who finally settled for less or took their energy, culture, language and dreams elsewhere.

Merely tweaking the developed world’s worst landownership system won’t save precious habitats, repopulate the glens or give Scots affordable leisure-time in their own country. This report is a policy roadmap showing how the land question can be tackled and what a normal Scotland might actually look like. I hope it puts land reform right back on the agenda for the Scottish Parliament and its parties“.

It is well known that Scotland has one of the most concentrated patterns of land ownership in the world but the report goes further in analysing some of the negative impacts that – and the land management practices it results in – has on Scotland.

The report then sets out a package of measures, all within the powers of the Scottish Parliament and legal under international law, which can be used to transform the pattern of land ownership and management in Scotland. The recommendations include the completion of a comprehensive land registry to provide full transparency on who owns Scotland’s land, the reform of the regulation of key practices in rural areas such as deer and grouse moor management to require more environmentally-sustainable practices, and the establishment of a National Land Agency to oversee all the report’s recommendations.

Duncan McCann from the New Economics Foundation said:

Significant land reform is vitally important if we want Scotland to be a more equal society as well as address the massive challenges of climate change and rural regeneration. The recommendations contained in this report, all of which can be implemented by the Scottish Government under the existing devolution arrangements, would go a long way towards creating the foundation we need to create the just and prosperous Scotland we all want to see.”


The report can be downloaded here:

If you support REVIVE’s call for real land reform in Scotland, please consider signing this new e-petition which will be delivered to the Scottish Government (you don’t need to live in Scotland to sign). Please SIGN HERE

Watch the new REVIVE video here:

3 thoughts on “REVIVE publishes new land reform report described as “tipping point in the debate””

  1. High time for radical & transformative land reform; for far too long our land has been abused, exploited & degraded by the few in pusuit of self-indulgent,sadistic bloodsports & profit … land reform also needs to be underpinned by an ethical, compassionate approach to Rewilding & how we interact with our Natural World, individual animals & species. Our disregard for the rights of other sentient beings, their habitats & environment all over our World has led us to the climate & extinction catastrophe we now face. Our impact upon our Planet needs a very urgent re-think NOW.

  2. I’ll be reading all 36 pages later but I suggest that before land reform we need government reform. Land owners and vested interest should never be part of a democratic government and until that is dealt with nothing will change.

    1. Spot on, Paul.
      ” ………….. Land owners and vested interest should never be part of a democratic government and until that is dealt with nothing will change.”

      Therein lies a major obstacle.

      The Holyrood bevvy have shown that they are somewhat close to the very people who do not want change and are not likely to do much other hyperventilate at the merest thought of taking action.

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