Rural Exchange

Land Reform

Scotland has a progressive and ongoing land reform agenda, with a new Land Reform Bill due in 2024. The key aim is to tackle the high concentration of land ownership in Scotland.

Since 2003, communities or crofting communities have had the Right to Buy their land if they can show their landlord is negligent or absent, using money from the Scottish Land Fund (SLF) if needed to help them. Communities can also register their interest in a plot of land, and given the first chance to purchase if it ever enters the market.

However, land is entering into community-ownership at a slower rate than anticipated and high land values often mean the SLF’s contributions are not sufficient to help with purchases. Natural capital payments, such as Carbon Credits and Peatland Restoration Credits, are attracting well-funded companies and institutions to purchase land leading to increased competition and driving up land prices.

This page will bring you new research, blogs/opinion pieces and briefings as they become available.