Packed Aviemore event to focus on leadership in land reform

Left to Right: Hamish (Trench Chief Executive), Michael Russell (Chair) and Emma Cooper (Head of Land Rights and Responsibilities)

A MAJOR conference is set to bring together leading voices from across the land reform debate to discuss ambitious ways to unlock Scotland’s land potential.

Taking place at MacDonald Resort Aviemore on 13th June, the Scottish Land Commission’s conference will explore the theme of “Pioneering Practice and Inclusive Land Ownership,”  a theme that is relevant during a time of change in Scotland’s land both on the ground and in policy and legislation.

Keynote speeches will include an address from the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform, and Islands, Mairi Gougeon, highlighting the Scottish Government’s land reform plans.

The Chair of the Scottish Land Commission, Michael Russell, and Chief Executive, Hamish Trench will also set out the Commission’s outlook on innovative approaches for more diverse approaches to land ownership and governance.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, Mairi Gougeon said: “The Scottish Government is committed to an ongoing programme of land reform. That’s why, in March, we introduced the new Land Reform Bill, which represents a leap forward for land reform in Scotland.

The Scottish Land Commission is an authoritative and respected voice on land reform. Events like this, bringing together key stakeholders to discuss innovative and practical approaches to land ownership and governance, are so important to help change how land is owned and managed in our rural and island communities for the better.”

The event will explore how to support innovation in putting more inclusive ownership and governance into practice. Interactive workshops will hear from people already working with collaborative land ownership and management, community benefits, innovative housing governance models, as well as common grazings in a joint session delivered with the Crofting Commission.

The conference will also feature insights from experts in small-scale land management, international natural resource governance, and community-led approaches.

Participants will include sector leaders such as Ailsa Raeburn, Chair of Community Land Scotland, Ian Davidson from Scottish Land Matching Services, Cllr Heather Anderson from Dundee City Council, and Heather Mack, Head of Policy, Development and Grazings at the Crofting Commission.

The conference will explore many ways to reshape ownership and governance of land, drawing on longstanding experience including crofting and international parallels, as well as more recent and emerging practices in Scotland.

The event will culminate in a final panel session reflecting on the opportunities to put into practice more inclusive land governance.

Hamish said: “We are delighted to bring together a diverse group of speakers and participants, all of whom bring a wealth of experience, learning and ideas to share.

“Convening a wide range of participation from across the sectors is vital to the success of this conference, and we hope that the event will help turn ideas into action, celebrate and learn from the innovative work already underway and accelerate progress.”

The Scottish Land Commission is committed to ensuring that Scotland’s land is owned and used fairly to benefit the country’s people and economy.

Its land reform work addresses significant challenges, including economic renewal, inequalities, human rights, rural repopulation and the just transition to net zero.

By providing leadership and stimulating fresh thinking in land ownership and use, the Commission aims to drive change on the ground as well as informing policy and legislative change.

To find out more about Scottish Land Commission, please visit:

To find out more about the conference participants, please visit:

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