Scotland’s land is mostly privately owned by a small, wealthy elite. More than half of the country is owned by fewer than 500 people. Surely, this is not a sustainable situation, nor does it fit with the permaculture principle of ‘fair share’. Land reform is desperately needed. I believe that the access of a people to the land they live on is one of the most pressing political issues of our time – relevant all over the world, not just in Scotland. In my opinion, current policies of increasing community ownership are definitely the key to sustainability. They are also beneficial for all the people who live in this country and for the land itself, since a greater sense of connection with the land will naturally lead to an increasing respect for it and desire to preserve it.
We ourselves are neighbours to one of the Fife grouse estates and have started the process of paying for our little slice of land – but will we ‘own’ it? Personally, I prefer to think of myself and the others here not as owners but as custodians of the land. We will do our best to keep it safe and preserve and (I hope) enhance it for future generations.
In the meantime, I will continue to try to advocate for further land reform in Scotland, and will cast my vote for others who are making moves in the right direction.