Community Land Scotland Newsletter January 2017
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We're delighted to welcome Portree and Braes Community Trust, Carsphairn Community Trust, Lismore Community Trust and Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust into our membership.

Have you seen our short film Community Land Stories about people involved in community land buyouts? It can be difficult to imagine what the process of going through a community buyout is like, so we hope this will give people an insight into the experience.

In November, Community Land Scotland hosted a meeting of the International Land Coalition (ILC) in Edinburgh. The ILC is a coalition of organisations focusing on land access, with 206 members in 64 countries. The meeting gave attendees the chance to get an insight into community landownership and land reform in Scotland, as well as discussing some of the key global issues such as transparency of landownership.

We have four new case studies on our web site. Check them out here: Machrihanish Airbase Community Company, West Harris Trust, Kyle and Lochalsh Community Trust and North West Mull Community Woodlands Company.

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on its draft Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement (LRRS), which will make Scotland the first country in the world to set out landowners' responsibilities. Community Land Scotland's view is that our land is a finite resource, it requires to be used and owned in the public interest and for the common good, and the LRRS is a chance to set out `responsibilities' and society's needs and expectations, much more clearly for the first time. Many of those `responsibilities’ could be captured within the LRRS through the exploration of people’s human rights, and that is one of the areas we will be looking to strengthen through the consultation.

If you would like to support our work and be part of the growing movement for community land ownership in Scotland, please have a look at how to become a Supporter.

Our 2017 Conference and AGM will be held at Sabhal Mor Ostaig in Skye on the 30th and 31st May. Keep an eye on our social media accounts and web site for further information.

Scottish Land Commission
The Scottish Government has  appointed five Land Commissioners, and one Tenant Farming Commissioner. Work is already underway to get the Commission fully operational by April.

Following a community buyout in 2014, Arran Community Land Initiative is bringing 80 acres of disused farmland on the island back into use. Their priorities include: growing more food so that Arran is less dependent on food imports and preserving the critically endangered Arran Whitebeam tree. In the past year they have been very busy developing a community garden, allotments, an orchard, bee-keeping area, paths and tracks, a hub building and, very importantly, a solar powered compost toilet! They have a kids' club once a month and the local High School uses the space for outdoor learning once a week.

The Galson Estate Trust (Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn) on Lewis is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month with a range of events and the launch of a £10,000 Community Investment Fund. The Estate has made great strides since the buyout with the construction of three community wind turbines, a business centre and a nature reserve.

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You may have missed...

- Community to mark buyout of Cold War site, BBC

- Community Buyout bid by Wanlockhead, The National

- Plans for Kintyre Spaceport discussed at Westminster BBC

- Landowners have rights, what about responsiblities? Peter Peacock, Scottish Review

The future is bright for community ownership, Landa Rolland, Big Lottery Scotland

- Future of the Crown Estate, Scottish Government

- Greater Power for Scotland's Communities, Scottish Government

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