Community Land Scotland Newsletter April 2014
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From Inverness - Edinburgh - Skye - Ullapool; we've been all over the country since the last update highlighting the spread and successes of Scotland's community landowners and putting forward our message that A Fairer Scotland Needs Land Reform. We enjoyed meeting folk at the Scottish Conservative, Scottish Labour and Scottish Liberal Democrat Party Conferences (having attended the SNP Party Conference last October). Thanks to all those who visited our stands at the events, and congratulations to Kate Wane, Jill Wood and Kirsty Smith who won James Hunter's 'From the Low Tide of the Sea to the Highest Mountain Top' in our land quiz prize draws.

Bunchrew Land Declaration

Following a gathering of Scottish and international land reform interests on 19/20 March in Bunchrew, near Inverness, we have re-affirmed our commitment to achieving the just cause of establishing new land ownership patterns in Scotland. The commitment comes in the Bunchrew Land Declaration (click HERE for the full version and HERE for a condensed version). Motion S4M-09502 was tabled in parliament by Rhoda Grant MSP in support of the Declaration. See below for links to related blogs & commentaries:

- Bunchrew Declaration a vital step for land reform David Ross (The Highland Line - The Herald)

- Securing Community Land Rights in Scotland Michael Taylor (International Land Coalition)

- Can Land Reform Help Scotland Become More Equal? Felix Spittal (SCVO)

Community Land Ownership - Economic Indicators Report

On the 21st April, we published the results of a study of the economic impact of community land ownership in Scotland. The report demonstrates remarkable results showing that community ownership can out-perform the past private ownership of the land in question.

Among the key results for 12 communities operating in some of Scotland’s most remote areas is:
• Over 300 new or refurbished housing units and house plots delivered
• Owners direct employment up 368%  to over 100 jobs
• Business turnover up 254% to over £6 m annually
• Number of private enterprises operating up over 100% with over 100 new enterprises
• Contracts and local staff value to local economy up 434% to £2.5m annually
• 7MW renewable energy capacity installed
• £34m new investment delivered
• £25m further investment already planned
• Value of assets rising to £59M
• Population growth occurring

Find the full report HERE
Find a two-page summary of the report HERE

Motion SM4-09770 has been tabled in parliament by Rob Gibson MSP welcoming the report.
In 2001 the newly formed Fernaig Community Trust bought 110 acres of agricultural land and signed a concordat with the Forestry Commission. The Trust's core aim is the sensitive stewardship of the land for the community of the future. The land has been used to create smallholdings and allotments, as well as other activities such as a community orchard, mushrooming & grazing leases.

The Trust's current projects include a 100kw hydro scheme, improvement of agricultural land & continued joint management of Strome Forest with the Forestry Commission.
Colin and Oscar at Work, Fernaig by Callum Bulloch

Community Land Ownership - Towards 1Million Acres

In partnership with the Highland Council and Highland and Islands Enterprise, we are running a series of seminars for pre-purchase communities across the Highland Council region on community land ownership. The first two of these events were held in Mallaig and Portree last month; both were well attended & stimulated good discussion. Future seminars are likely to be held in Fort William, Aviemore, Inverness, Ullapool, Helmsdale and Durness next autumn.
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Articles of interest:

- Who's Land Is It Anyway? Dòmhnall Iain Dòmhnallach

- The Mega Rich Can't Keep Hogging Scottish Land Yiannis Baboulias / Niki Seth-Smith (VICE)

- Turf War Liam Kirkaldy (Holyrood)

- Scotland Needs Radical Land Reform Susan Smith (Third Force News)

- Empowering Communities Through Land Reform David Cameron (Community Land Scotland, for Third Force News)

- A Rural Revolution in Community Land Buyouts Paul Cardwell (Third Force News)

Thank you to The Emsée Fairbairn Foundation

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation towards our policy work on Scottish land reform and the provision of support to communities in Scotland wishing to take ownership of land and associated assets. Our thanks go to the Foundation for their support and we look forward to continuing this work which we believe is vital for the building of a fairer, more socially just Scotland.
*Job Opportunity* Supporters Network Development Officer
Graduate Placement with Community Land Scotland

An exciting new position is available to join Community Land Scotland to develop our ‘Supporters Network’. Based on the Isle of Harris, we’re looking for someone who is enthusiastic about community land ownership and would like the opportunity to help this grow in Scotland.
Deadline for applications:
15th May
See HERE for full details
Click the image below to find out more about becoming a
We are grateful to Carnegie UK Trust for supporting the Bunchrew Seminar and the Economic Indicators Research

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