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Common land ownership in Scotland

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  1. Foreword
  2. Introduction
  3. Historical background
  4. Surviving commons
  5. Community land ownership
  6. The land reform action plan
  7. Conclusion
  8. Bibliography

This essay was largely inspired by the working papers of Andy Wightman, Robin Callander, Graham Boyd and James Perman. James Perman is a Chartered Accountant from Largs. Andy Wightman, Robin Callander and Graham Boyd are independent authors and researchers who work together on occasion through the Caledonia Center for Social Development. The Center undertakes research and collaborative policy development in a number of fields both in Scotland and overseas. It has a particularly active program on land issues and common property rights.

Scotland was an independent country for many centuries, but entered a political union with England in 1707. The Union still exists today and Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom. In 1999, however, Scotland regained a substantial measure of self-government through the establishment of a Scottish Parliament. The existence of the Parliament, with its ability to reform Scots law, has facilitated a new debate over longstanding and widespread concerns about the way land is owned and managed in Scotland. Two pieces of land reform legislation have already been passed by the new Parliament in 2000 and 2003. One of these land reform Acts dealt with the abolition of feudal land tenure in Scotland.

[...] It enables crafting communities to buy these common grazings from the current owner by right, without having to wait for the owner to decide to sell and at a price that reflects the existing grazing and related rights of the crofters over the land: The Land Reform (Scotland) Act, which became law in May 2003, granted crofting communities the absolute right to buy the land on which they live. And it's the crofters on the Galson estate who've made legal history by submitting the first application to the Scottish Executive to apply this controversial law. [...]

[...] ?Sources of Land Ownership Information in Scotland,? Scottish National Rural Partnership, Scottish Executive Feb.2006 Robin Callander, The History of Common Lands in Scotland, Commonweal of Scotland 2.1 (2003): 7. Robin Callander, The History of Common Lands in Scotland, Commonweal of Scotland 2.1 (2003): 19. Tom Johnston, A History of the Working Classes in Scotland (Glasgow: Forward Publishing Co, 1920) 163-164. David Reid, Crofters (Smallholders) Common Grazings Commonweal of Scotland 1.2 (2003): 7. David Reid, Crofters (Smallholders) Common Grazings Commonweal of Scotland 1.2 (2003): 6. [...]

[...] History of Common Lands in Scotland.? Commonweal of Scotland 2.1 (January 2003): 1-21. Pen, Rob. A Storm in the Western Isles: The Land Reform (Scotland) Act of 2003 Granted Crofting Communities the Absolute Rights to Buy the Land on which They Live. But as the Scottish Executive Considers the First Applications, Rob Penn Discovers That Plans to Build Wind Farms on the Land Have Seen Local Tensions Reach Boiling Point;? Geographical 77.9 (2005): 52- 54. Reid, David. ?Crofters (Smallholders) Common Grazings.? Commonweal of Scotland 1.2 (2003): 1-17. [...]

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