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.


1 However, crofting and community ownership were not within the remit of this study which excluded most areas in the Highlands and Islands. Similarly, whilst estates with agricultural tenants were included in the study agricultural tenure was not a principal focus of the study.

2 A detailed consideration of macroeconomic impacts was beyond the scope of this project.

3 Land owners wishing to sell land must offer first refusal of the land to a community/tenant if they have successfully registered an interest in the land (

4 Crofting communities can, under certain conditions, force the sale of land from an unwilling seller.

5 At the time it was thought that the reforms would improve landlord confidence in making more let land available thereby encouraging new entrants into the industry, but amidst the passing of the Act through Parliament consideration of an option for an absolute right to buy caused concerns amongst landowners that led many to withdraw further from the let market amongst fears of the Scottish Government revisiting this option in the future.






11 See the Land Reform Bill (2015) ( and the associated policy memorandum (2015) (


13 Wheelhouse, P. (2014) Parliamentary answer to Question S4W-19122

14 Wheelhouse, P. (2014) Address to fourth Community Land Scotland conference, June 2014.




18 The research team were directed by the Scottish Government that "diversity" in the context of this project was to be in relation to scale of ownership.

19 Whilst the Community Right to Buy ( CRtB) and financial support measures introduced by the Scottish Government have been credited with helping increase the diversity of ownership of land in Scotland, the impacts of the CRtB are beyond the scope of this project with another research project specifically evaluating the impacts of CRtB (

20 For 1991 and 2001 data was extracted from a service of the UK Data Service composed of data specialists at JISC and The Universities of Central London, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester. 2011 census data was extracted from a service of National Records Scotland 2011.



23 Where: Arable Agriculture ( LCA classes 1-3.1); Mixed Agriculture ( LCA classes 3.2-4.2); Improved Grassland ( LCA class 5.1-5.3); Rough Grazing ( LCA classes 6.1-7). For full definitions of each land class see

24 There is no universally accepted definition of an "estate", nor are there any complete databases of "estates". This makes their identification more difficult, and necessitates a degree of subjectivity. Armstrong and Mather (1983) defined an estate as "… a continuous and discrete area of land held by one owner, whether the owner be an individual, a company a trust or an institution". Kerr (2004) describes estates as " generally characterised by features such as a large house with surrounding policies for amenity areas, land owned with part or all let out to tenants, actively managed forestry, commercial woodland and possibly deer forest.".

25 This parallels findings by Best and Ward (1956) in England regarding increased intensity of food production on farmland converted to household gardens.




29 Due to budget restrictions these subsequent transfers (amalgamations or further fragmentation) were not assessed but were commented upon by fieldwork participants..

30 Due to budget restrictions and the time taken to access land record these subsequent transfers (amalgamations or further fragmentation) were not assessed but were commented upon by fieldwork participants..

31 Due to budget restrictions these subsequent transfers (amalgamations or further fragmentation) were not assessed but were commented upon by fieldwork participants..

32 Supplied by The Scottish Government's Agricultural Census Analysis Team of Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services.

33 Single Farm Payment, Scottish Beef Scheme and Less Favoured Area Support Scheme payments

34 Data from The Scottish Government's Rural Payments and Inspections Division

35 Standard Output represents the estimated farm-gate worth of crops and animals without taking any account of the costs incurred in production (for more details see: ).

36 Standard Labour Requirements represent the notional amount of labour required by a holding to carry out all of its agricultural activity; it is used as a measure of farm size.

37 Scottish Government Abstract of Scottish Agricultural Statistics 1982 to 2015 available at

38 The industrial classifications used in each of the 1991, 2001, 2011 population census differ it was still possible to make meaningful comparisons for 2001 and 2011 for key sectors.

39 There is an element of uncertainty due to changes in output area statistics boundaries.

40 Working-age population changes: 1a, -17%; 1b, +60%; 2a, 0%; 2b, +9%; 3a, +5%; 3b, +14%.

41 Data extracted from Residential property transactions are recorded by Registers of Scotland.

42 Proportion of housing stock sold in any single year.

43 This is a sentiment across much of rural Scotland, and the two objective of the Scottish Rural Parliament Action Plan 2015-2016 are: (1) " Improved communication between transport operators and with communities regarding transport developments and efforts to integrate timetables, with opportunities for communities to challenge changes to services" and (2) "Improved support for community transport initiatives"


45 Data provided by The Scottish Government's Agricultural Census Agricultural Census Analysis Team of Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services.

46 There was very limited uptake of Countryside Premium Scheme, Farm Business Development Scheme and Farm Woodland Scheme.


48 Data source: extracted from SNH datasets. © Scottish Natural Heritage. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right (2016)

49 data extracted January 2016

50 Data source: derived from National Forest Inventory Scotland, 2014. Data © Crown copyright and database right 2015. Woodland defined based on the 'Woodland' category; estimates of recent woodland planting are based on the definition of Brown et al. , (2014).

51 Not In My Back Yard ( NIMBY)

52 By the research team.

53 A number of key references were drawn upon throughout the policy review, notably: Leneman (1989); Tracy (1989); Lloyd (1992); Northfield (1979); SNH (2009); Scottish Affairs Committee (2014 and 2015); Land Reform Review Group (2014); Thomson et al., (2014). To maintain the narrative flow, only a few pieces of legislation are named explicitly and, given the complexity of the subject, no attempt was made to quantify influences, merely to identify them.

54 This process followed the establishment of the Congested Districts Board and was continued by the Board (later Department) of Agriculture for Scotland established in 1912 (Hunter, 2013).

55 Where land sold as vacant attracted a considerable purchase price premium compared to sales with a sitting (secure) tenant.

56 Reflecting rising incomes in the economy more generally, but also economies of scale driven by technological change which itself was promoted by government in terms of R&D expenditure, advisory services and grant aid.


58 The hybrid LCA layer combines the 1:50,000 scale LCA mapping in the lowlands and the 1:250,000 scale in the highlands. Improvements to the positions of the coastline and water bodies were made using Ordnance Survey MasterMap Topography Layer data in previous work.


60 Dave Miller, GIS Specialist at the James Hutton Institute.




Email: Graeme Beale,

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