Our Common Future | Our Land, Seas and Environment

Land Reform

The way we use, own and inhabit Scotland’s land is pivotal to our climate action and economic recovery plans. The pandemic has revealed how much we rely on the bonds that tie communities together, and as we emerge from this crisis, we need to reshape our economy to focus on wellbeing rather than profit. Land and how it is used is fundamental to this. Nearly twenty years on from the 2003 Land Reform Act, it is time to continue on the path to truly radical land reform.

Green Impact

Scottish Green achievements in the last 5 years include:

  • Delivered a 13,000 strong petition calling for the termination of Flamingo Land’s exclusive right to buy land at Balloch against the wishes of the local community
  • Enshrined support of community land and asset ownership in the aims of the newly established South of Scotland Enterprise


We will tackle the concentrated pattern of land ownership in Scotland and enhance the rights of  people over the land around them. As well as bringing forward reforms that benefit all of Scotland’s people, we must recognise those groups in society whose voices are rarely heard. We will embrace the concept of restorative and reparative land justice, enabling marginalised communities to access the social and economic benefits of land.

We will:

We will carry out a review of succession law to ensure the inheritance of landholdings does not contribute further to Scotland’s land problem. The Scottish Law Commission’s 2003 Report on the Law of the Foreshore and Seabed, designed to modernise public law rights, will be enacted, and we will call for a review of Ministry of Defence landholdings in Scotland and how that land is managed.

We will bring together the divergent land responsibilities across government by setting up a Land Directorate to assess and help meet demand for land to support housing development and local livelihoods. Land held by Scottish Ministers, public bodies, the Ministry of Defence, the Crown and large charities will be subject to a public interest test and greater public oversight.

Information about the ownership and use of Scotland’s land is often difficult to obtain. We will transform the land registers into a free and transparent national land information service, covering the ownership, use, and designations of land.


The Scottish Greens believe that everyone should benefit from the land around them and have a say in how it is used. The need for this is clear. Fragile rural communities can be revitalised by new inhabitants and fairer land practices, but owners of large estates have the power to control the supply of rural housing, while urban communities still have too little support to have a say in how the land around them is used and managed. We will:


During the pandemic, access to local and well-maintained outdoor spaces has become central to many people’s lives, yet there is a disparity between outdoor spaces in Scotland. Some are wildly popular and well serviced, while others are badly neglected.

In addition to our plans to restore Scotland’s landscape, we will do more to make outdoor recreation inexpensive, sustainable and accessible to all.

Reaching outdoor spaces by foot, wheelchair or bike should be made as hassle free as possible. We will establish a network of Slow Ways - walking paths between towns and cities - to open up Scotland for many more people, and extend statutory public access rights to the foreshore, inland water and seabed. We recognise that much more needs to be done to provide equal access to land, including supporting access for disabled and BAME people, and will ensure that all those involved in the management of recreational outdoor space consider how to make spaces accessible to all.


Open up crofting for a new generation of rural Scots

Restore the status of common lands

Bring abandoned land back into use

Address rural depopulation

Continue to improve the rights of tenant farmers

Manifesto Chapters