Scottish Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement 2022

Land reform in Scotland, including matters relating to the ownership, use and management of land and associated rights and responsibilities, is continually evolving. The Statement has been revised to ensure it remains relevant to informing policy and practice around land issues in Scotland.

2022 Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement


A Scotland with a strong and dynamic relationship between its land and people, where all land contributes to a modern, sustainable and successful country, supports a just transition to net zero, and where rights and responsibilities in relation to land and its natural capital are fully recognised and fulfilled.


1. The overall framework of land rights, responsibilities and public policies should promote, fulfil and respect relevant human rights in relation to land, contribute to public interest and wellbeing, and balance public and private interests. The framework should support sustainable economic development, protect and enhance the environment, support a just transition to net zero, help achieve social justice and build a fairer society for the common good.

2. There should be a more diverse pattern of land ownership and tenure, with more opportunities for citizens to own, lease and have access to land.

3. More local communities should have the opportunity to own, lease or use buildings and land which can contribute to their community's wellbeing and future development.

4. The holders of land rights should exercise these rights in ways that take account of their responsibilities to meet high standards of land ownership, management and use. Acting as the stewards of Scotland's land resource for future generations they should contribute to wider public benefit, sustainable growth and a modern, successful country.

5. Land ownership, management and use should deliver a wide range of social, environmental, economic and cultural benefits.

6. There should be transparency about the ownership, use and management of land, and this information should be publicly available, clear and contain relevant detail.

7. There should be meaningful collaboration and community engagement in decisions about land.



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