A tenant farmer from SW Scotland, where the largest land holdings are controlled by the top end of Scotland’s 432 individuals who own 50% of the land, is delighted with the announcement by Scottish Government minister Paul Wheelhouse of a Land Reform Bill which – he believes – will lead to a brighter, fairer future for Scotland with more access to more land for more people.
The minister said his vision “was for a fairer, wider and more equitable distribution of land across our nation”, adding that the bill will be “another significant step forward in ensuring that our land is used in the public interest and to the benefit of the people of Scotland”.
The main investment in these farms has been done by generations of hard working tenants.
The farmer writes that evidence of rural decay; dereliction and underutilisation of land, buildings and houses on big estates around the region, are due to a serious shortfall in landlord investment.
“2014, the International Year of the Family Farm, is the perfect time for the process of land reform to begin as rural communities are suffering from the lack of access to land and confidence to carry out further investment.
“The Land Reform Review Group report laid down the foundations and tenant farmers look forward to an equally thorough and well researched report from the government’s Agricultural Holdings Review Group.
“They must grasp the wider issue of public interest and consign the failed system that is holding us back to the history books”.