Impact of diversity of ownership scale on social, economic and environmental outcomes

Report on the impact of diversity of ownership on the socioeconomic outcomes for rural areas.

Appendix 6 - Case study change timelines

Table 15 Drivers of economic change in case studies identified by fieldwork participants, 1910-2015

Time period 1a - Unfragmented 1b - Fragmented 2a - Unfragmented 2b - Fragmented 3a - Unfragmented 3b -- Fragmented
1910 -1945
  • Estate bought using wealth from international industry and resource extraction.
  • New buildings erected (e.g. gate lodges) and farm building renovations made.
  • Modernisation programme for estate houses and church and erection of buildings, village hall, etc .
  • About 200 people, employed by main estate.
  • 1 million trees planted.
  • Estate sold house plots with one acre of land and byre for cow/pigs.
  • Main estate sold and broken up.
  • Modernisation on farms; No longer need horsemen.
  • Royal Air Force airfield established.
  • Influx of soldiers and industry in WWII.
  • Some transfer of estate land to military use.
  • 30-40 farms sold off on one estate.
  • Another estate sold a farm between the wars due to death duties.
  • At its height in 1930s, one of the estates employed roughly 14 gardeners and 14 foresters.
  • Development of large scale hydro schemes brought lots workers to the area.
  • Estate split up - lots of small owner-occupied farms emerged.
  • Local boat service ended.
  • Forestry Commission acquired land.
1945 - 1965
  • Government scheme to convert dairy farms.
  • Mechanisation of farming.
  • Government grants for draining, liming, amalgamation, buildings.
  • Large plant hire business established.
  • Forestry sector was large employer.
  • Reduced number of tenancies. Some farm amalgamation with some going to in-hand management.
  • Reduction of numbers of estate workers on main estate.
  • Forestry planting with much diminished 'squad'
  • Local restaurant established.
  • Local abattoir relocated
  • Advent of mechanisation.
  • Local sawmill in operation.
  • Closure of large engineering works.
  • Farms getting bigger through amalgamation.
  • Industrial businesses investing in land, but companies didn't farm themselves.
  • Wages increase and high employment.
  • Main village train station closed; loss of employment.
  • Withdrawal of troops and closure of military/transit camps.
  • Local village used as military decommissioning area (ceased early 1960s, infrastructure dismantled).
  • Industrial development.
  • Main estate sold off outlying areas of land due to death duties.
  • arm rents reduced due to low farm incomes.
  • Reduced investment in tenant farms.
  • Mechanisation and modernisation of agriculture.
  • Reduced farm and estate workers.
  • Amalgamation of a number of smaller farms.
  • Local railway closed Forestry planning started Returns from sheep farming were poor.
  • Large hydro developments brought lots employment.
  • Large-scale, local hydro development brought many people to the area - descendants of the workers can still be found in the area today
  • Local mine opened nearby, bringing people to the area for work.
  • Significant population reduction in 60s.
  • Many village services lost: (e.g. doctor, post office, petrol station, police, pub, bus, butchers, chemist).
  • Farm amalgamations and loss of families. Disappearance of dairy industry in area, related to over-production.
  • Regional economy growth in late 70s leading to long-term influx of people.
  • Conversion of redundant farm buildings to housing.
  • Estate employment decline.
  • Rising farm rents, but farm size also increased.
  • Income to estate from wayleaves and quarry.
  • Major infrastructure development brought in population/workers who used local facilities and businesses.
  • Start of long period of regional economic growth driven by key sector.
  • Major house builder develops on former farms capitalising on demand from nearby urban area (commuters).
  • Employment moving off farm.
  • Number of shops dramatically decreasing; increasing use of cars and supermarket.
  • Food processing facility built.
  • Amalgamation of livestock farms (economies of scale).
  • Local agri-food processing and feed mill facilities centralised to single location nearby.
  • Decline in on farm added value and local use of products.
  • Government (capital) support for capital investment on farms.
  • Reduction/closure of SMEs in area (linked to car ownership and major retailers)
  • Major transportation hub opened.
  • Tourism development (caravan parks and gardens)
  • Development of main estate house.
  • Continued decline in estate employment.
  • Three primary schools closed.
  • Decline in sheep numbers.
  • Mechanisation of agriculture.
  • Introduction of CAP.
  • Local agri-food processing facilities centralised to single location: more distant.
  • Closure of local service / provision businesses.
  • Loss of jobs associated with railway.
  • Increase in tourism, and caravan park opened.
  • New road development bypassing villages: reduced passing trade (causing shop closures) but improved local environmental quality.
  • Mechanisation of forestry and agriculture.
  • Amalgamation of small farms.
  • Coach business began.
  • Hotel closed; building bought from estate and pubs all closed.
  • Bus service stopped due to improved private transport.
  • Fewer people working on farms - and most farmers also work off farm.
  • Bank, estate owned garage and petrol station close.
  • Farm tenants offered more outlying land. Estate. investing in buildings.
  • Gamekeepers removed - no official shoots.
  • Arrival of CAP led to changed farm economics and crops.
  • Development of local agricultural market business to become important employer.
  • Food processing business closed with loss of 20 jobs.
  • Abattoir closure, decline in local use of farm produce.
  • CAP influence .
  • Increased farm rents with some limited investment in tenancies.
  • Small number of tenant farms sold open market
  • Increasing intensification of agriculture.
  • Machinery and engineering businesses closed down
  • Farm diversification (holiday cottages).
  • CAP payments and declining farm-gate prices influencing farming.
  • One major farm business employed 55 workers (only 10 now).
  • Supermarket established in nearby urban area.
  • Tourism business opened (e.g. caravan park).
  • Reduction in Forestry Commission workers.
  • Increase in level of self-employment.
  • Tourism continued to grow in importance.
  • Shift towards "luxury" tourism, with first local timeshare/holiday let development opened.
  • Decline in local authority employment.
  • Fish farm opened.
  • Increase in tourism employment.
  • Estate cost-savings; tenants have to upkeep buildings. Fewer '91 Act tenancies.
  • Restructure of main estate following inheritance - financial impact and new farm manager.
  • No dairy farms remain.
  • Many local village shops closed.
  • Plant hire and country stores are key local employer in parish.
  • Landowners reticent to create new tenancies due to fear of security of tenure impact on land values, and right to buy. Estate trying to buy back tenancies.
  • Regional economic growth gives flexibility for employees.
  • Very few farmers who rely on farming alone (e.g. knackery, contracting, abattoir worker, vet, quarryman).
  • 2 large employers close impacting on local employment.
  • Change of tenancy laws discouraging new tenancies for new entrants
  • Development of industrial estates.
  • Increased number and dominance of supermarkets
  • Further reduction in local shops and services.
  • Further estate diversification (events/hospitality)/self-catering cottages.
  • Small number of farms taken back in-hand and let out on seasonal grazings basis.
  • Closure of local airport.
  • Loss of single family farms leading to bigger units.
  • Greater use of contractors for silage, feed crops, etc .
  • Foot & Mouth Disease - compensation provided capital to make changes, e.g. buy new machinery.
  • Broadband became available: helped businesses establish and increase in self-employment.
  • Major retailer opened: became important local employer.
  • Reduced employment on farms as a result of decoupling of CAP (e.g. loss of shepherds).
  • Ongoing development of luxury tourism providers in main village particularly - successful businesses that are well-linked.
  • Local hotel demolished and replaced by holiday homes.
  • Large historic building sold to developers.
  • Estate policies increasingly directed by social-economic situation; e.g. knock-on sale of main estate house.
  • Estate try to employ people with a house. (2+) (4+)
  • Village widely known due to popular restaurant.
  • Changed drink-drive rules have seen large change to social gatherings.
  • Increased internet shopping and associated delivery vans.
  • Closure of nearby food processing factory impacts on some farmers.
  • Increased investment in windfarms (high income potential).
  • Main village bank and hotels closed.
  • New services (café, garage, Astroturf pitch)
  • Largely commuting that may increase in popularity following further road developments.
  • Major development of transport hub.
  • Increased emphasis on technology in farming.
  • Increased internet shopping (particularly from supermarkets).
  • CAP payment reductions forthcoming for the area.
  • Independence referendum led to fewer enquiries from rest of UK

  • Increased reliance on online shopping .
  • Local outdoor events bring people to the area .
  • Local broadband project ongoing.

Table 16 Drivers of societal change in case studies identified by fieldwork participants, 1910-2015

Time period 1a - Unfragmented 1b - Fragmented 2a - Unfragmented 2b - Fragmented 3a - Unfragmented 3b -- Fragmented
1910 -1945
  • Young Farmers Association established and still buoyant.
  • Wife of landowner donated land for use by agricultural show (unclear whether ownership transferred or use rights). Part of showground also owned by local authority.
  • Village school extended due to pupils from outlying areas; old school building then demolished in 2006.
  • Local pipe band established.
  • Local authority investment in housing in wider area.
  • Sports facilities (football pitches etc.) established (retained after troop withdrawal).
  • Local bowling green to lost to development.
  • Poor housing conditions.
  • High number of children per family.

  • Closure of local piers that supported boat service.
1945 - 1965
  • Regular farmers' dances in village hall.
  • Strong Women's Rural Institute membership (40 compared to 14 today)
  • Television arrived.
  • Housing development built for agricultural workers, plus council houses.
  • Residential street developed on farmland (originally estate land, then owner-occupier farms).
  • Allotments established in main village.
  • Start of counter urbanisation.
  • Loss or local rail line.
  • Village school closed.
  • Further local authority housing improvements post-war.
  • Some housing on estate land left to go derelict due to declining estate workforce.
  • Increased in-migration to wider area.
  • Gradual decline in community events/groups.
  • Post-war housing improvements.
  • Sheep numbers declined and mechanisation drove decline in number of farmers which led to in population decline and closure of 3 primary schools.

  • Population growth as a result of local hydro and mine developments.
  • School closed in one village.
  • Lack of demand for bus service due to increased car ownership led to much reduced public transport service.
  • Parish village received street lighting.
  • Church was a community hub (concerts, activities) with big congregation (now much reduced).
  • First council housing development built in one village.
  • Both doctor and school head teachers no longer live in the village.
  • Country police stations closed.
  • Large proportion of estate housing privately rented or provided to retired Employees.
  • Housing and industrial developments.
  • 'Them and us' (local or outsider) attitude evolved.
  • Three small housing developments in main village.
  • House price inflation.
  • Regular farmers' dinner dances.
  • New housing development by local developer.
  • Councillors/Council is now removed from village, therefore community lost its 'voice'.
  • Importance of nearby town swimming pool noted and influence on young people living in main parish village; facility retained and expanded.
  • Further decline in community groups/events (and services)
  • Increased car ownership led to less dependency on local services.
  • Reduction in farmers wives working on farms as need for secondary income grew.
  • Increased private home ownership (much through the 'Right to Buy' of local authority housing stock).
  • Some tied estate housing changed to private rentals.
  • Increased recreational development and improvements ,
  • Birth control and changing view on family size led to population decline..
  • Television caused decline in social events .
  • Church of Scotland closures reduces community activity.
  • Decline in local railway services (closure of stations).
  • Agriculture mechanised, which led young people to leave when they reached working age causing population decline.
  • End of local van service that brought domestic supplies and food to residents.
  • Lively campsite in main village which 'grew' the community in the summer months, with lots of interaction between visitors and locals.
  • Local shop, petrol station and post office closed in one village - impact on community as "served as a social meeting place, particularly for older people."
  • Council house developments in two parish villages.
  • Police station closed, but no impact due to low level of crime.
  • Mobile phones arrived, but don't work in one village (and similar issues with broadband more generally).
  • Housing development in one parish village; new homeowners 'created own sense of community'.
  • Main parish village expansion, due to lack of regional development and village being in commuting distance.
  • Rapid house price inflation (fuelled by external demand and limited supply).
  • Arrival of computers; younger generation 'not encouraged outside'.
  • Land for playing fields donated by local developer.
  • Large housing development with 'no greenspace' that changed the spirit of the village.
  • Village church closure.
  • Estate main house development.
  • Farm cottage sales leading to changing demographic (retirees and second home owners).
  • In-migration led to broader range of backgrounds / viewpoints.
  • Increase in tourism and demand for/number of holiday cottages and incomers.
  • Property spike in 1980s began to introduce incomers to the area as sales were more lucrative. Workers cottages converted into holiday homes.

  • Rapid growth in tourism sector lead to population decline.
  • Depopulation had negative impact on community cohesion (also related to television and internet, access, and accessibility to larger urban areas for shopping, etc.)
  • Peripheral primary schools closed and all children travelled to school in main village
  • Local Forestry Commission office closed.
  • Regular local dances and other social events ended.
  • Community group took ownership of hill farm and begin work to set up renewable energy initiatives, housing and business opportunities.
  • Conversion of campground to other accommodation.
  • Current landowner less involved with community.
  • Lack of industry in parish village.
  • About 50 new houses built and perception is few of the new residents' children use the local school.
  • Perceived lack of integration from incomers to new housing developments. Loss of facilities and decline of groups such as Women's Rural Institute, British Legion, Bowling.
  • Housing developments delayed by sewage limitations.
  • 1100 homes built and football pitch lost to this development
  • New primary school opened in main parish village, but at full capacity on 'day one'.
  • Youth café opened on site of library, but unsuccessful. Later a community 'hub' and internet café opened (successful).
  • Loss of tennis courts with school development.
  • Lack of facilities - nothing for young people.
  • Recreational infrastructure development,
  • Increased travel by car to central hub (centralisation).
  • Property crash in 1990s and late 2000s made it much harder to sell properties. Improved community facilities for young people - new building for them.
  • Fewer community and social events (Masons, curling, etc)
  • Loss of doctor services and district nurse eroded sense of community and caused older people to leave.
  • Broadband introduction has improved quality of life.
  • Loss of diverse tradespeople in the villages, including butchers, grocers, fishmongers, bank etc. has eroded community interactions.
  • Former estate housing in village sold and converted to holiday accommodation by local hotel, due to estate going into receivership at the time.
  • Community land initiative renovated several farm buildings for affordable housing under the Rural Empty Properties grant.
  • House price inflation and affordability problem (approx. 7 of 400 properties in main village deemed 'low cost/affordable').
  • Small plots of land throughout parish sold off for second/holiday home development.
  • One village retains more 'affordable' properties due to plots of land not being sold off by the landowner to developers/second home interests (the village was described as having "not changed at all" and having more families and young people).
  • Loss of local public services.
  • Regular community newsletter/magazine established facilitating greater sense of 'connectedness'.
  • Post bus service stopped.
  • Main estate house sold and new owner spent money on house and said they would like to be involved in community but this has not happened and they have blocked access to house grounds.
  • Poor mobile phone and internet access has negative impact on quality of life and business opportunities.
  • Estate still supports agricultural show which generates significant volunteering (80+ people), particularly from younger generation.
  • New houses in one village, including affordable houses for local youngsters.
  • Closure of local tourism attraction within parish; now lying empty and Council paying maintenance costs.
  • Community café part funded by council; closed after funding cuts. Premises now used for groups with learning disabilities to get back to work.
  • Improved internet facilities increasing small businesses and working from home.
  • Second new school being built.
  • Compensatory payments to community from windfarm.
  • Village 'in Bloom' voluntary group established
  • Local Authority initiative to encourage community control of assets.
  • Community Council re-established in main urban centre.

  • Fewer affordable houses being built since economic downturn coupled with lack of available development land.
  • Tightening of drink-drive laws has led to decline in people going out to bars/restaurants for evening meals.
  • Local tourist association start running local events/activities.
  • Negative impact of online shopping on local businesses.
  • Community benefited financial from local wind development (shared between community councils in the parish and neighbouring parishes) that has enabled environmental and community projects.
  • Local participation decline - community council struggles to find new members.
  • Changing community dynamic overall - lack of integration between second home/holiday owners and long-term permanent residents.
  • Community aspect in general described as "missing" with "get togethers no longer happening, apart from through the school"
  • Concerns about long-term future of the primary school as it is considered a "lynchpin" for maintaining local services.

Table 17 Drivers of environmental change in case studies identified by fieldwork participants, 1910-2015

Time period 1a - Unfragmented 1b - Fragmented 2a - Unfragmented 2b - Fragmented 3a - Unfragmented 3b -- Fragmented
1910 -1945 Small loch dammed and hydro electricity generated. Hydro- electricity dam built. Farming policy encouraged greater focus on cropping. Industrial development Changing village landscape due to building removals.

1945 - 1965 Large scale windblown forestry - replanted. Pylons installed to east of parish through estate negotiation. Potatoes grown on 6 year rotation. Greater fertiliser use, due to availability and cheaper cost Development planning push to encourage people live in urban suburbs: Green belt developed. Changing farming systems with greater emphasis on grass and less on grain crops. Gradual intensification of farming. Landscape change over time brought about by forestry plantations. Forestry Commission bought land for planting from 1950s (sold in 1990s).
Amalgamation of small farms when they became less viable. Larger-scale farming and mechanisation has had negative impacts on the number of people living and working in the area.
1965-1980 Drive to remove stone dykes (now less easy to remove due to environmental restrictions). Evolution of environmental and health and safety regulation (seen as positive but challenging). Most houses on public water supply (private supply was considered poor quality) No longer shooting on estate and they don't rear pheasants - no gamekeeper employed. Perception that local river 'rises faster now'; flood events happen more quickly - attributed to building development and deforestation in parts of the catchment. Some reforestation undertaken. Hill farms designated for Less Favoured Area status and also designated for their biodiversity. Increased forestry plantation in the wider local area.
Subsidised drainage schemes. Woodland planting schemes encouraged greater afforestation.
Insufficient sewage capacity in main village (from housing expansion) led to complaints from residents - eventually sewage diverted to nearby town with increased sewage capacity. Knackery, piggery, sewage works were creating smell nuisance that took time to resolve. Proximity to local hill with ranger service and paths seen to encourage walking. Domestic mains gas installed. Some changes to farm practices (hedgerows, set aside)
Forestry Commission woodland sold to community cooperative. Set-aside schemes introduced leading to reduction in crop production (oats & barley). Declines in numbers of capercaillie and wildcats. Establishment of fish farm, led to some concerns about the impacts of the farm on wild salmon and trout populations. Conservation work in the area, particularly by conservation charity that owns a large parcel of land Red deer numbers increasing.
1995-2010 Barrier to stop traffic through the estate (used as a rat run) Greater issues with litter. 'Right to roam' means many more passing by with their dogs.
Neolithic dwelling discovered on farm land that restricts management options for farmer. Traffic increased before further new houses built, especially during peak times (pre-bypass). Village bypass significantly reduce traffic throughput.
Increased wetlands on unmanaged areas on farms Slurry stores installed in some areas Some reinstatement of cropping (oats etc.) Biomass boilers on some properties (incentives) and biomass cropping Long distance paths development) Tree diseases resulting in felling of certain species/areas and reduction in replanting of Larch
Coupled livestock support removed - led to lower grazing pressures. Diversification of farming businesses needed to remain viable Local heritage attraction opened. Historical landscape project led to architectural heritage and cultural heritage outcomes. Steady increase in vehicles - many narrow roads overused by cars and larger vehicles. Concerns about ongoing safety and environmental impact. Increased wild camping on with lots of rubbish being left. Landowners clear up.
2010-2015 Forestry planting. Although no estate gamekeeper the sporting rights were sold meaning sport shooting still occurring. Pursued idea of nature reserve on estate.
Increased traffic and noise/pollution from lorries and cars, Greening of the CAP.
Steadings no longer tidied, buildings not white washed, drains and ditches not cleared - due to fewer employees on farms so only the farming/production is done with less activity relating to countryside management being carried out. Visitor centre at popular outdoor location remained open during winter months - positive effect on tourism and outdoor activities Perception of few opportunities for entrant farmers due to wider economic challenges facing farming. Continued development pressure, particularly for "upper-end, architecturally interesting" properties on lower altitudes sites, with "good views". There has been a significant increase in the number of buildings in the parish, particularly in the main village. More conservation-related jobs than previously, through management of National Nature Reserve owned by conservation charity. Endeavours to set up community allotments.


Email: Graeme Beale,

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