Quakers in Scotland respond to Call for Views on Land Reform

Tuesday, 21 May 2024


Picture of hills in Scotland with some trees and sheep

Building on our previous response to the Land Reform Consultation, a group of Scottish Friends with interest and expertise in land reform issues have collaborated on a response to the Call for Views on the new Land Reform Bill. 

While we were fully supportive of the intention of ending Scotland's highly concentrated pattern of land ownership, and ensuring that land is used in ways that respond to the climate and ecological crises that we face, overall we noted concerns that the Bill does not go far enough to generate real land reform.

In our response, we highlighted in particular the need to go forward with justice and equality as cornerstones, and to consider the issue from our children's and grandchildren's perspective: how can we shape a country and planet that they can thrive in? We called on the Government to give local communities a true voice, free up land from private ownership, and ensure land uses uphold the common wealth of all people and reverence for the natural world.

We also conveyed our belief in the importance of community: listening well to each other; continuing to find ways forward amidst tension and disagreement; and having space for everyone to be involved. Land reform matters because it helps to re-embed people into their communities of place, centring us as a nation. Land reform is about more than access to building plots, renewable energy, space for entrepreneurial activity, etc. It is about what it means to become a society in which the potential of its people(s) is more fully realised.

We are glad to see the steps forward contained in this Bill, but continue to call upon the Government to go further in reforming how Scotland's land is held and used.

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