Landowners across Scotland have been ‘greatly encouraged’ by an independent report published today (Wednesday) which recognises the major contribution of estates to rural economies.
The report - Family Estates and Rural Resilience – published by SRUC – explored the link between estates and the resilience of the local communities in which they operate.
Douglas McAdam, Chief Executive of Scottish Land & Estates, commented:
“This research, undertaken within the Scottish Government-commissioned Research Programme is exactly the sort of independent recognition landowners and estate owners have been looking for. It is clear from the findings of the report that estates make a significant social, economic and environmental contribution to the communities of which they are a part.
“The evidence demonstrates a clear link between the vibrancy and strength of rural Scottish communities and the decision making on local estates. This report highlights that sustainable business development on estates combined with a commitment to community involvement can be really positive for rural areas. This combination is a major strength of family-owned estates and makes a significant contribution to ensuring that rural communities thrive.
“We are not suggesting that everything is perfect across the landowning sector but we are urging all landowners to build on this best practice that has been identified by SRUC”.
One owner who views a close relationship with the local community as a critical part of his estate business is Jamie Williamson of Alvie and Dalraddy Estates near Aviemore. He commented:
“My family has been part of the local community since we bought the estates in 1927. We are part of the fabric of the local area and we strive continually to play a meaningful part in our community and in general I think we achieve that. We are dedicated to ensuring that the estate is there for the enjoyment not just for the local community but visitors from outside the local area.”
Douglas McAdam continued:
“This sort of independent research is especially welcome because it sheds light on the diversity of estates. In the current debates about land ownership it is all too easy to generalise and stereotype estates and landowners. We hope that this work will enhance the current debate by adding to the picture of estates and the role they can play in rural society.”