Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation

Closed 30 Oct 2022

Opened 4 Jul 2022

Feedback updated 2 Aug 2023

We asked

The consultation paper ‘Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation’ sought views on several proposals for inclusion in a new Land Reform Bill. The consultation opened on 4 July 2022 and closed on 30 October 2022, asking a total of 51 questions. We also invited respondents to give us views on other ideas and proposals, which may or may not be included in the Bill.

The consultation sought to gather views from a range of stakeholders and from members of the public across Scotland. As part of this we also undertook five in-person engagement events across Scotland with a further event taking place online.


You said

We heard a range of views from members of the public and stakeholder organisations across Scotland. In total, 537 responses were received to the consultation, of which 375 were from individuals and 162 were from groups or organisations.

We did

Where permission to publish consultation responses has been provided, the responses are available on the Scottish Government’s consultation hub.

We also commissioned an independent research company, Craigforth, to undertake an independent analysis of all responses. The feedback from the six consultation events, which included comments and questions from those attending, was also included in the analysis.

The consultation analysis report was published on 2 June 2023, and presents a question-by-question analysis of answers to the closed questions and further comments at open questions. The report also explains the methodology that was used to analyse the responses.

The responses and the consultation analysis report will help inform the development of the proposals in the Land Reform Bill.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Scotland has a proud history of land reform going back to the early days of devolution. We are committed to bringing forward a new Land Reform Bill in this parliamentary session. Over the summer, we are undertaking a wide-ranging consultation on our proposals for the measures it should contain.

The Bill will be ambitious. It will address long-standing concerns about the highly concentrated pattern of land ownership in rural areas of Scotland.  At the same time, we want to ensure that our land is owned, managed, and used in ways that rise to the challenges of today: net zero, nature restoration, and a just transition.

To bring about a just transition we need to have a framework of law and policy that ensures communities can make the most of these opportunities. This means that not only must we address questions of who owns land, who uses it, and how it is managed, we must also consider the issue of who is benefitting from land, and from investment in it.

We are very fortunate to have great potential in Scotland’s natural world to sequester carbon and to support biodiversity, for example through woodland creation, peatland restoration, energy generation, blue carbon and many other initiatives. These initiatives will help us reach net zero but they also represent a real opportunity for our rural communities, for investment and for good green jobs and industries of the future.

Land is a vital resource that underpins the wealth, and the well-being, of the nation as a whole. We’ve come a long way on the ‘land question’ – but the journey continues.

You can hear from the Minister for Environment and Land Reform about whats in the consultation and why it is needed in this short video


Read the consultation paper 

Read the Gaelic translation of the consultation paper and respondent information form

As well as publishing this consultation paper, we have organised a series of public meetings where the Minister for Environment and Land Reform, along with government officials, will present the proposals for the Bill. All are welcome to come along to ask questions, raise issues, and contribute to the discussion. Please click on the link below for more details and to book your place. 

More Information

The Minister for Environment and Land Reform will be holding four public meetings between 6:00pm and 8:00pm at the following venues:

  • The Buccleuch Centre, Langholm on Wednesday 20 July 2022 (EventBrite link)
  • Glenmoriston Millenium Hall, Invermoriston on Monday 25 July 2022 (EventBrite link)
  • Timespan, Helmsdale on Tuesday 26 July 2022 (EventBrite link)
  • Stornoway Town Hall, Stornoway on Wednesday 27 July 2022 (EventBrite link)
  • Victoria and Albert Halls, Ballater on Thursday 28 July 2022 (EventBrite link)

The Minister will also be holding an online event between 6:30pm and 8:00pm on Thursday 21 July 2022 (EventBrite link).

Why your views matter

The next Land Reform Bill will be an important part of a framework of law and policy that creates the conditions for a fairer, greener, wealthier Scotland. The measures put forward in this consultation document align with the priorities for the economy, the environment, and society that are set out in our Programme for Government.

We seek consensus as to reforms that will be in the best interests of the country as a whole, striking a balance between rights and responsibilities, respecting the diverse interests and aspirations of all those with an interest in Scotland’s land. To achieve this we need to hear a wide range of views.


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