Scottish woodland

SLE statement on SNP/Greens Co-operation

Press Release

Scottish Land & Estates, which represents rural businesses across Scotland, has issued the following statement regarding the announcement of a new SNP-Scottish Green Party coalition.

 Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said:

 “For some time there has been significant concern amongst rural communities and businesses that votes on policies of huge significance to rural Scotland were being traded in return for support on high-profile issues such as the annual budget. We wait to see how the coalition announcement will impact that perception.

 “We are hugely supportive of policies to tackle the climate emergency and that is why privately owned land-based businesses continue to lead the way in planting new forestry, locking up carbon through peatland restoration, providing energy efficient homes and pioneering clean energy projects. Scotland must continue to maximise the benefits of its land use and people, jobs and nature are at the heart of this. We cannot exclude employment for the sole purpose of aiming to go green – there needs to be a just transition that delivers for communities as well as tackling climate change.

 “The policy programme as laid out provides some areas of optimism, such as a commitment to developing Regional Land Use Partnerships, increasing woodland creation targets and financially supporting food production in return for improving natural capital. That said, we see the prospect of punitive land reform measures – despite two land reform acts in the last 20 years – and pursuing further culling of deer. Neither of these measures will serve the environment or rural communities well.

 “There will be significant unease if the new coalition takes an ideological approach rather than one that seeks to bring people together. We want to work with the new government and believe the best outcome for the environment can be achieved by constructive partnership with our members.” 

 Read the SNP and Scottish Green Party draft co-operation agreement and shared policy programme.