Publication - Research and analysis

Attitudes to land reform: research

Published: 5 Mar 2021
Environment and Forestry Directorate

This report outlines the main findings from research exploring public attitudes to land reform.

Attitudes to land reform: research
Annex 2: Questionnaire

Annex 2: Questionnaire

Section one – screener and background questions:

QD1 Could I ask your age at your last birthday?

1. Numeric range (18 – 99)

2. Don't know (DK)

3. Refused

QD2 Which of the following describes how you think of yourself?

1. Male

2. Female

3. Or in another way?

4. Refused

QD3 And are you currently:

1. Working – full time

2. Working – part-time

3. Not working – unemployed

4. Not working – retired

5. Not working – student

6. Not working – other

Section 2 – Overall perceptions of the land

We would like to talk to you a little bit about land in Scotland. Some of these questions may not be applicable in the current COVID-19 lockdown situation. Where this is the case, we'd like you to think about a time before the lockdown was applied.

When answering the questions in the survey, we would like you to think about land as the countryside, the coastline and land in towns and cities.

Q3 Thinking about the land in your local area, do you use it for…?

1. Exercise/sport (Y/N)

2. Leisure/recreation (Y/N)

3. Work/business/investment (Y/N)

4. Growing your own food and/or keeping livestock (Y/N)

5. Anything else (please specify)

Q4 How does the land in Scotland benefit the country as a whole? Please think about the nation as a whole, rather than about individuals. You can give a maximum of three answers.

1. The economy and jobs

2. Tourism and recreation

3. Provision of natural resources (for example, water and fuel)

4. As a part of Scotland's culture and identity

5. As a home for nature

6. Food production

7. Renewable energy sources

8. Improving the population's health and wellbeing

9. Other (please specify)

Q5 Which of the following would you say is the biggest challenge for the future of Scotland's land? Please give one answer only.

1. Inequality in land ownership

2. Housing shortages

3. Derelict or vacant land

4. Climate change

5. Wildlife protection

6. Building on Greenspace

7. Other (please specify)

8. DK

Section 3 – Attitudes to Land Reform

Since Scottish devolution, there have been a range of new laws and policies changing how land is owned, how decisions about land are made, how land can be accessed by the public and how land is used for housing and development. These types of changes are known as land reform.

Q6 How much, if anything, do you know about the Scottish Government's plans for land reform in Scotland?

1. A lot

2. A little

3. Not very much

4. Nothing at all

5. DK

Historically, around half of Scotland's rural land has been owned by around 500 people and this has been a focus of the land reform debate.

Q7 Do you think there is enough information available about who owns the land in Scotland?

1. Yes, definitely

2. Yes, probably

3. No, probably not

4. No, definitely not

5. DK

In recent years, the Scottish Government has aimed to widen the ownership of both rural and urban land, to include more public, community and third sector ownership.

Q8 In general, would you say you support or oppose this aim?

1. Strongly support

2. Tend to support

3. Neither support nor oppose

4. Tend to oppose

5. Strongly oppose

6. DK

Q9 Which of the following do you think should be the main priorities for land use in Scotland? You can give a maximum of three answers.

1. Housing

2. Farming

3. Recreation

4. Renewable energy

5. Wildlife protection

6. Tourism

7. Other (specify)

8. DK

Now thinking about a different topic...

Q10 Were you aware that the Scottish Government supports communities in Scotland to buy and own areas of land and buildings?

1. Yes

2. No

3. DK

The Scottish Government introduced a 'Community Right to Buy' (CRtB). This allows community organisations to register an interest in an area of land or a building. If that land or building comes up for sale, they are given first choice to buy that land. These are sometimes referred to as "community buyouts". In 2015, this right was extended to urban areas as well as rural areas.

Q11 Are you aware of any examples of community buyouts in your local area or elsewhere in Scotland?

1. Yes – in my local area

2. Yes – elsewhere in Scotland

3. Yes – both in my local area and elsewhere in Scotland

4. No – not aware of any

5. DK

Now, moving onto a different topic, about access rights in Scotland.

Q12 How confident are you that you know your rights regarding which types of land you can freely access on foot or bicycle in Scotland?

1. Very confident

2. Fairly confident

3. Not very confident

4. Not at all confident

5. DK

Everyone has the right to access most of Scotland's outdoors (excluding specific types of land such as that close to homes or schools), if they do so responsibly, with respect for people's property, and for the environment. These rights are sometimes referred to as 'right to roam'

Q13 To what extent do you support or oppose this 'right to roam'?

1. Strongly support

2. Tend to support

3. Neither support nor oppose

4. Tend to oppose

5. Strongly oppose

6. DK

Q14 Have you encountered any issues in the last 12 months when you thought you had the right to roam but someone else disagreed?

1. Yes

2. No

3. DK

Vacant and derelict land, is land which has typically been used in the past for industrial purposes or previously been built-on, but is not currently being used.

Q15 How concerned are you about vacant and derelict land in your local area?

1. Very concerned

2. Fairly concerned

3. Not very concerned

4. Not at all concerned

5. Don't know

Q16 One of the Scottish Government's aims is to reduce the amount of vacant and derelict land in Scotland and to give local communities the chance to take control of the land.

Were you aware of this?

1. Yes

2. No

3. DK

We're going to move on to a slightly different topic now.

Q17 How important do you think protecting wildlife should be as a factor to consider when making decisions about how land is used?

1. Very important

2. Fairly important

3. Not very important

4. Not at all important

5. DK

Q18 And how important do you think tackling climate change should be as a factor to consider when making decisions about land use?

1. Very important

2. Fairly important

3. Not very important

4. Not at all important

5. DK

Section 4 – Involvement in land use decisions

Q19 Have you ever been involved in decision-making about land use in your area? This could be in cities and towns as well as in the countryside

1. Yes

2. No

3. DK

Q20 Would you be interested in being more involved in decision-making about land and planning/developments in your area in the future? This might involve sending a letter or posting on social media, responding to a

1. Yes – definitely

2. Yes – probably

3. No – probably not

4. No – definitely not

Q21 And would you prefer to be involved…?

1. Online

2. In person

3. Both

Q22 What are the main reasons stopping you from becoming more involved in decision making around land use in your area? Please think about the time prior to the COVID-19 lockdown and give up to a maximum of three answers

1. I don't know enough about it

2. I don't have enough time

3. I don't know how to get involved

4. I am not interested

5. I don't think it would change anything

6. Nothing is stopping me

7. Other (please specify)

8. DK

Q23 What would be most helpful in encouraging greater community engagement in land decision making in your area? (READ OUT OPTIONS)

1. More awareness of local land issues

2. Examples of communities which have been successfully involved in land decision-making

3. Clearer rules and regulations on land reform in my area

4. Having meetings in accessible venues at convenient times

5. Other (please specify)

6. DK

That's the end of the questions about land, before we finish off is there anything else you'd like to say about land use or land reform in Scotland?