Sold-out conference sets tone for the future of land reform

Michael Russell (Chair of the Scottish Land Commission) speaking at conference

HUNDREDS of leading experts from all backgrounds in Scotland’s land reform debate recently came together at a sold-out event to discuss the future of the country’s land journey.

Opened by the Deputy First Minister, Kate Forbes the event saw public, private and third sector stakeholders participating in panel discussions, keynote speeches and innovative workshops all focussed on how to make more of Scotland’s land.

In its fourth instalment, the Scottish Land Commission’s (SLC) conference, themed “Pioneering Practice: Shaping Scotland’s Future Through Inclusive Land Ownership,” brought together key stakeholders to focus on making change happen in practice.

Hamish Trench, Chief Executive of SLC, said: “We have seen an incredible exchange of ideas and experiences that highlights the potential for transformative change.

“We heard from communities and land owners putting in place innovative ownership and governance arrangements, sharing experience to expand these opportunities. 

“By supporting innovation in a more diverse pattern of land ownership, we can address significant challenges such as economic resilience, housing and rural repopulation.

“As well as legislation and policy change, the ideas and experience shared at this conference show the potential we have now to put into practice more inclusive and productive approaches to land ownership.”

The conference featured a range of workshops and panel discussions addressing critical topics in land governance.

These included international experiences and innovative approaches, improving access to land for small-scale ownership and management, and community collaboration in governance of land holdings.

Sessions also focused on innovative governance to support housing delivery, challenges in land governance, community benefits, natural capital, and governance for collaboration on common grazings in crofting.

Michael Russell, Chair of SLC said: “Land reform has been a key element in Scotland’s devolution journey, and it remains essential for ensuring fairness and public good.

“The discussions from this conference reinforce the opportunity we have through land reform to empower people and create prosperity.

“Our central task is to drive land reform forward in all possible ways, not just through legislation. We need to celebrate the progress made and acknowledge that much remains to be done.

“By pursuing the practical benefits of land reform, we can ensure more people and communities reap the rewards.”

The commission is also set to launch a new report on rural land market insights in the coming weeks.

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

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

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