Have your say on land reform - guest blog

Scotland’s farmers and crofters are being urged to respond to a Scottish Government consultation closing shortly (30 October) to ensure land reform works for the farming community, writes Karen Grant, Good Practice Adviser, Scottish Land Commission in a guest blog for NFU Scotland.

Karen writes: While the weather may have stayed settled over harvest time on our mixed livestock and arable farm on the Moray coast, we are all aware of the stormy times ahead; farmers – like many sectors – are already experiencing huge hikes in input costs, and great challenges in business planning for the coming year. 

Away from the farm, my other job is as a Good Practice Adviser with the Scottish Land Commission – a public body with a role in advising on land reform, land rights and responsibilities, and building constructive working relationships with all kinds of stakeholders with an interest in land. I am acutely aware of the importance of talking to as many different land owners and managers as possible, to get a sense of the practical realities they are facing, acknowledging good work that is already being done, and considering fair and practical ways of handling situations which could be better. 

Staffing the Commission’s stand at the Royal Highland Show this year, we heard from many farmers concerned about how the trajectory of land reform might affect them. Many felt that the importance of food production and food security did not always receive proper consideration in land use decision-making. Others felt under attack from public perception of the causes of climate change and wanted to demonstrate how farming could become part of the way forward for climate resilience and mitigation. 

It was also clear that a huge number of young farmers and new entrants face serious difficulties in accessing land or housing, limiting their opportunity to run a successful rural business. It is crucial that these voices are heard in the public conversation around land reform and land use. 

Members of NFUS will be aware of the current Scottish Government consultation on the Land Reform Bill, which remains open for responses until 30 October. This is part of the ongoing land reform process aiming to ensure that Scotland’s land is owned and managed in a way that helps deliver for the economy, the environment, and the resilience and wellbeing of our communities. It is crucial that members of the farming community engage with this consultation and send in their responses. 

Of course, NFUS will be sending in a response on your behalf, as will other representative bodies, but the voice of individual farmers is important too. You can take a look at the consultation - - and view the Scottish Land Commission’s resources created to assist respondents on our website - 

The topic of land reform has scope for a broad and varied discussion, and the route forward can only be found when we communicate well with each other and are realistic about practical ways forward. There is no doubt that positive change is needed, and it is up to us all to help shape it into something that works for the country as a whole. 

Please do send in your responses to the government’s consultation before 30 October. The voices of the farming community – and everyone with an interest in land ownership and management – are essential in helping the Scottish Government to shape a Land Reform Bill that is fair, representative of public, private and community interest, and that helps deliver all Scotland needs from its land.  The opportunity to shape it isn’t one to be missed.

Date Published:

< Article List


Report Abusive Comment

Comment Content:

Why it offends me (optional):

Have Your Say

No-one has commented on this article yet. Be the first to have your say...

New Comment


Total Pages:
Total Results:
Page Start:
Page Result #:

Quick Contact

Which Region do you live in?  
Are you a member of NFU Scotland?  

This form collects and sends the information supplied to NFU Scotland. You can read our privacy policy for full details on how we protect and manage your data.
  I consent to having NFU Scotland collect the above details.

Registred Address

NFU Scotland
Head Office
Rural Centre - West Mains
Ingliston, Midlothian
EH28 8LT

Place of registration: Scotland

Company Registration Number: SC214564

Tel: 0131 472 4000

NFU Mutual Logo

Get the App

NFUS App QR Code

©NFU Scotland • All Rights Reserved • Web design by Big Red DigitalLog in


Contact Us




No Robots:

This form collects and sends the information supplied to NFU Scotland. You can read our privacy policy for full details on how we protect and manage your data.
  I consent to having NFU Scotland collect the above details.