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Agriculture Must be Front and Centre in Establishment of New Regional Land Use Partnerships

NFU Scotland has urged the importance of agriculture to be recognised in plans for land management in Scotland.

The call comes after the Scottish Land Commission (SLC) published an interim report on Regional Land Use Partnerships (RLUPs) – available at: https://landcommission.gov.scot/news-events/news-blog/regional-land-use-partnerships-interim-report

There is a strong level of ambition amongst Scottish Government and stakeholders for the establishment of RLUPs to be part of a wider step change that looks at future land use in Scotland and public interest in that.



SLC will produce a final report for Scottish Ministers in September. NFUS will consult again with its members before making a further submission to the Commission.

NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “Regional Land Use Partnerships present a significant opportunity to be more strategic about land use in Scotland.

“That said, their creation must recognise that agriculture, in its many forms, is the primary land use and practical farmers must be formally represented on these partnerships.  Only then can farmers be assured that the way they run their businesses and manage the land will be a key part of the discussions.

“The principle that RLUPs must empower decision making at a local level is to be welcomed, as is the potential for those local partnerships to draw in private finance to drive changes with investment around land use.

“We would have concerns if RLUPs were to be drawn around local authorities as this approach makes no recognition of the wide variation of land type that can be found in a local authority area. RLUPs should be at scale that reflects land use, rather than administrative boundaries, to better target action and funding to secure the many benefits we want from Scotland’s land assets.

“When it comes to priorities, there is also the huge challenge of balancing local aspirations with national targets within any RLUP.”

Notes to Editors

  • The Scottish Land Commission was asked by Scottish Government in late 2019, to consider how Regional Land Use Partnerships might be set up and how they might function to deliver on items such as:

    • Driving more regional and local engagement, decision making and action.
    • Encouraging the collaboration and dynamism that is needed to meet Scotland’s ambitions for climate, natural capital and inclusive growth.
    • Improving the way land use, and changes to land use, are managed
  • The Scottish Land Commission is holding a webinar on Tuesday 28 July, 3-4pm ‘Regional Land Use Partnerships – Delivering on the ground’, exploring the opportunities of Regional Land Use Partnerships and what they could mean for communities and land managers delivering on the ground. More information can be found here: https://landcommission.gov.scot/news-events/events/regional-land-use-partnerships-delivering-on-the-ground


Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 07788 927675

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 99/20


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