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Getting the best from our land

Published: 20 Nov 2015 10:19

Views sought on draft Land Use Strategy.

A consultation has been launched on the future of land use, aimed at getting the most from our land in an integrated and sustainable way.

The consultation on the draft Land Use Strategy 2016 -2021 sets out a range of policies and proposals including:

  • how we manage our natural resources, including continued use of an ecosystems approach to land use decisions;
  • developing and implementing activities to promote climate friendly farming and crofting;
  • an exploration of the relationship between ownership, use and management of land including consideration of the potential advantages of a single policy statement about land;
  • encouraging regional land use partnerships to bring a range of interests together to consider land use at a local level

Over the next ten weeks, all those with an interest in land use and management, will be invited to make their views known.

Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Dr Aileen McLeod said:

"Scotland's land is the subject of an energising and exciting debate as never before. Radical legislation, such as the recently passed Community Empowerment Act and the Land Reform Bill, currently before parliament, have brought a new focus on land use.

"Land has never been a more precious resource and so this consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on how we make a step change towards a more integrated and strategic approach to land use.

"Scotland's first Land Use Strategy was published in 2011 and, at that time, represented a unique, new approach to this important policy area. Since then we have completed the significant commitments in the first Strategy, we have initiated and completed two very successful land use pilot projects in Aberdeenshire and the Scottish Borders as well as considerable interest in our work from those outside Scotland.

"In the wider context we have seen the development of the natural capital agenda and the formation of the Scottish Forum for Natural Capital, the increased use of an ecosystems approach and significant developments in areas such as the use of spatial mapping tools.

"It is now time to take stock and to consider where our focus should be for the next 5 years. Our land has the potential to change the lives of people in Scotland, we all stand to benefit if the land is well managed and used wisely. This updated strategy sets out our priorities for the next five years and I would encourage all those with an interest in the future of Scotland's land to respond to the consultation."

Notes to editors

Scotland's Land Use Strategy is a key commitment of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act and the first Strategy was published in 2011. The Act requires that the Strategy be reviewed every five years or less. This second Strategy, covering the five year period 2016 -2021, has been prepared following a period of review. More information on the review can be found here.

The land use strategy consultation runs until 29th January 2016 - more information on how to respond to the consultation is available here: