Buccleuch, one of Scotland’s foremost rural businesses, is taking the lead in a country-wide initiative to put all land in Scotland on a modern map-based land register.
The initiative, led by Registers of Scotland, aims to move all land in Scotland from the historic deeds-based General Register of Sasines – the world’s oldest national land register – to the modern digital map-based public Land Register of Scotland. This will enable members of the public to easily search and find out who owns a particular property or patch of land.
Buccleuch – which encompasses all of the land interests of the Buccleuch family – this week registered the 2,400 acre Eckford Estate, part of the larger 61,000 acre Bowhill Estate, on the Land Register, and has ambitious plans to put all 225,000 acres owned by Buccleuch in Scotland on to the land register within five years.
John Glen, chief executive officer of Buccleuch, said:
“As one of Scotland’s largest land-based rural businesses, Buccleuch has a strong commitment to managing its properties in a positive and open manner and we are delighted to press ahead with the voluntary registration of all Buccleuch land.
“For any business, it is much simpler and more efficient to undertake land transactions based on a modern, map-based register than having to rely on antiquated descriptive titles.
“We began this process two years ago – well before the latest round of land reform legislation – and we believe in the transparency of land ownership.
“We have now successfully mapped all Buccleuch property on our company GIS (geographical information system) and are working closely with Registers of Scotland to move our titles to the land register. This is not a quick process but we hope the exercise will be complete by 2020.
“In addition, as we register our land, we will make this information available on our own web site, where anyone can have a look and see what is owned by Buccleuch,” Glen concludes.
Scottish Ministers have set a target of all land being on the Land Register by 2024.
“We are very pleased that Buccleuch has engaged so positively and quickly with us on this initiative”, said Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland.
“The registration of land has clear benefits for landowners as well as for Scotland, and we are delighted that so many are now coming forward to voluntarily register their titles on the land register.
“So far, 60 per cent of all titles in Scotland are on the map-based land register, covering 28 per cent of land mass. We are committed to achieving the Scottish government’s aim of completing the land register, giving landowners state-backed warranty of title on a publicly accessible, digital register.”
For further information on land owned by Buccleuch, please visit www.buccleuch.com.