Publication - Research and analysis

Attitudes to land reform: research

Published: 5 Mar 2021
Directorate:
Environment and Forestry Directorate
ISBN:
9781800047198

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

Attitudes to land reform: research
8. Views on climate change and protecting wildlife

8. Views on climate change and protecting wildlife

This section considers the extent to which climate change and protecting wildlife were seen as important factors to consider when making decisions about land use

Main findings and implications

When asked specifically about how important it is to consider the protection of wildlife and climate change when making decisions about land use, there was high levels of concern about both (96% thought protecting wildlife should be an important factor and 89% thought tackling climate change should be an important factor).

However, this level of concern was not so apparent in the deliberative research. This is perhaps because, when thinking about specific aspects of land reform or of specific areas of land near them, people tend not to think of these issues. This suggests that, in engaging people about land use decisions in their area, people may need to be prompted to consider these aspects.

Respondents to the survey were asked specifically how important they felt protecting wildlife and tackling climate change should be as factors to consider when making decisions about land use.

Figure 8.1 Q How important do you think [tackling climate change/protecting wildlife] should be as a factor to consider when making decisions about land use?

Chart description below

Chart Description

Figure 8.1 Q How important do you think [tackling climate change/protecting wildlife] should be as a factor to consider when making decisions about land use? A chart showing that 66% said protecting wildlife was very important, 30% said “fairly important” and 3% said “not very important”. On tackling climate change, 60% said very important, 29% “fairly important”, 6% “not very important” and 2% “not at all important”.

Views on protecting wildlife

As shown in the figure above almost all respondents (96%) felt that protecting wildlife should be an important factor, while just 3% felt it was not very important.

  • female respondents were considerably more likely than male respondents to say it was veryimportant (72% compared with 59%).
  • younger respondents (aged 16 to 34) were also more likely than older (55 and over) respondents to say this issue was very important (71% compared with 63%)

Views on climate change

Most respondents also felt that climate change should be an important factor to consider when making decisions about land use (89% overall).

Reflecting views on protecting wildlife, those more likely to say climate change should be an important factor to consider were:

  • 16 to 34 year-olds (92% compared with 88% of those aged 35 and over)
  • those in support of the diversification of landownership (93% compared with 76% who oppose diversification)

Landowners' responsibility to the environment and the potential to use the land for renewable energy and rewilding were raised quite frequently in the deliberative research. However, the level of concern about climate change and protecting wildlife found in the survey was not so apparent.

This is perhaps because, when asked to think about those issues directly, people agree they are important – but when thinking about specific aspects of land reform, or of specific areas of land near them, people tend not to think of these issues. This may be because they are higher-level concerns and, in the case of climate change, seen as more of a more global concern. This suggests that, in engaging people about land use decisions in their area, people may need to be prompted to consider these aspects.


Contact

Email: socialresearch@gov.scot