Scottish Land & Estates has today presented the Scottish Government with a Partnership Plan to assist in creating a more prosperous rural Scotland.
The six-point plan sets out the key areas in which Scottish Land & Estates and the Scottish Government can continue to work together to deliver enduring benefits to rural communities across Scotland.
1. Driving rural business to deliver sustainable economic growth
2. Sustaining a vibrant agricultural sector
3. Using evidence and policy development to create positive and beneficial change
4. Partnership working to benefit everyone
5. Maintaining and enhancing Scotland’s natural environment
6. Connecting people and communities with the land
The six-point plan is available at www.scottishlandandestates.co.uk/6pointplan
Scottish Land & Estates represents around 2,500 landowners and rural business throughout Scotland. They are significant contributors of agriculture, forestry, renewable energy, tourism, mineral extraction, housing and employment, with an estimated annual turnover well in excess of £1 billion.
Luke Borwick, Chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “There are many areas where the goals of the Scottish Government are aligned with those of landowners and rural businesses across Scotland.
“The financial viability of the rural sector is critical to supporting the Scottish economy but also to delivering social and environmental benefits.
“We need to ensure that the planning system supports business growth and diversification and does not unduly inhibit rural development.
“There also needs to be less red-tape across the rural sector, particularly in agriculture.
“There needs to be a better collaborative approach to managing the natural environment which is one of the country’s greatest assets.
“We believe in a diversity of land ownership which is currently the case in Scotland. Equally, there should be greater recognition that private landowners have a key role to play in connecting communities to land and delivering real benefit in rural areas.
“Greater understanding of how land is managed and how land management decisions are made would also be of widespread benefit.
“There is often a tendency to look backwards rather than forwards in terms of landownership and what it delivers and there is nothing to prevent landowners and Government working even more closely to ensure a better future for rural Scotland.”
"Rural land in Scotland is Alive! and being used proactively for the benefit of everyone. We are calling on the Scottish Government to continue to work with us to maintain this momentum."