Scotland is a step closer to having its own rural parliament to empower rural communities and give them a greater opportunity to influence decision-making, network and share expertise.
A report, published today, highlights the experiences of countries which already have rural parliaments, including the benefits and potential pitfalls, success stories and the various formats used.
And an initial meeting took place earlier this month to consider what Scotland’s rural parliament could look like and ensure it provides meaningful engagement for people living in rural communities.
The next step will be a meeting in May with representatives from existing European rural parliaments.
Luke Borwick, Chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said:
"Landowners are wholly committed to ensuring the voice of rural businesses and communities is heard loud and clear. Rural issues have unquestionably commanded more parliamentary time at Holyrood and our members are enthusiastic participants in the Scottish National Rural Network. If a rural parliament is to be established it will have to ensure the voice of rural Scotland is not diminished or marginalised in the main Scottish Parliament and an additional layer of bureaucracy is not created unnecessarily."