Community Land Scotland Newsletter December 2015
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Sending warm festive wishes as we come to the end of another year in which the debate on land reform has deepened, and more land has come into community ownership. Notably, we are pleased to be able to extend our congratulations and best wishes for the future to the Pairc community on the Isle of Lewis, who have recently taken ownership of the Pairc Estate after 13 years. The buyout means that 70% of the population of the Western Isles are now living on community owned estates, and brings Scotland over the 500,000-acre-in-community-ownership mark.

We've welcomed the publication of the Land Reform Bill Stage 1 report, and the Scottish government's action plan on reaching their target of one million acres into community ownership by 2020 (see below for links). Keeping up our international focus, we've also put our voice to the global call to action on indigenous and community land rights; watch this short video on the campaign / follow @Global_Call_

We look forward to continuing to support and be inspired by our 63 member communities, and welcoming more, throughout 2016.

Wishing you a peaceful Christmas time, from all at Community Land Scotland

Nollaig Chridheil agus bliadhna mhath ùr

We were pleased to welcome delegates to our event in Perth on Tuesday 10th November, entitled ‘Community Land Ownership ‐ What’s it all about?‘. The event was aimed at land agents and chartered surveyors in Scotland to learn more about the growing sector of community land ownership.

Delegates represented a broad range of property consultancy, land valuation and estate agencies as well as several from Perth & Kinross Council and observers from research institutions.

We believe that this event opened a positive dialogue between the community landowning and land agency sectors, something that we hope will grow.

Keep an eye on our Events Page for future events.

Land Reform Bill Stage 1 Report published

We welcome the detailed, substantial and thorough Stage 1 Report from RACCE Committee of Parliament on need for and ideas on how to strengthen the Land Reform Bill.

Read the full report

Read the executive summary

Scot Gov action plan for 2020 1million acre target - published

“We see this as very positive. The target will be tough to achieve by 2020 but great strides can be taken." Lorne MacLeod, Community Land Scotland

Read More

**Win £50 CalMac vouchers**

We will be holding a prize draw in the new year for all of our Supporters; with prize kindly donated by Caledonain MacBrayne. 

Become a Supporter - give yourself the chance to win & explore, while helping us continue our work towards more empowered communities and a fairer Scotland.

Here We Are
Here We Are has taken ownership of local woodland, the 37 hectare Ballure Woods in Glen Fyne in a step to being self–sufficient in wood for its biomass.

Here We Are currently benefits in income from Our Power; a CIC wood chipping plant, supplying biomass to heat water for several businesses including Lakeland Smolts, a local salmon hatchery and Argyll and Bute Council’s Kilmory Castle. Ownership of the woodland will expand the business by providing the company with a local and sustainable supply of timber.

Opening of Merk Community Hydro Scheme

The final awards under the current Scottish Land Fund programme have recently been announced, alongside the announcement from the First Minister that the Fund will be increased to £10 million from 2016-20. The new programme opens in April 2016, and details will be announced in the New Year.

Our congratulations go to three of our member communities who have been awarded funding and will now be able to move forward with their exciting plans; Gallan Head Community Trust, Keose Glebe Steering Group and Mull & Iona Community Trust

Read more about the awards and what they're working towards.

(image displaying artists impression of the visitors centre which Gallan Head plan to develop)
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You may have missed...

- The Scottish Government’s Land Reform Dilemma Dr.Calum Macleod

Island in the wind. Community: energy, land, living and preservation Triodos (The Colour of Money Feature)

The ownership of land should no longer be hidden from the public David Ross (The Herald)

Opinion: Scottish Government must strengthen #LandReformBill for human rights Megan MacInness and Kirsteen Shields (Common Space)

To watch...

BBC's Landward on land reform

Reflections on the evolution of Scottish land law

We’re happy to publish this fascinating short lecture by Prof. Jim Hunter given to a recent gathering of Sheriffs serving the Grampian, Highlands and Islands Sheriffdom, on aspects of the history and development of land law in Scotland and the first recognition of the `human rights’ of the people.

Jim’s new book, on which he touches here, is entitled Set Adrift Upon the World, and is an account of the Sutherland Clearances. Further details can be found here.


“Community land ownership brings genuine democracy into land use planning and enables the communities concerned to make inclusive, equitable choices about their future.”

Alex Walker, Moray
Community Land Scotland Supporter

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Community Land Scotland is a charity registered in Scotland SC041864, Company Number 385572