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Community Land Scotland

Land Reform Campaign

Our campaign ‘Scotland for sale! But who is buying…?’ has been launched to raise awareness around the many issues surrounding land justice in Scotland:

We’re excited to get the discussion going at a bigger and broader level. We want everyone to be speaking about why land reform is important.

To keep up to date with campaign news, briefings, and ways to get involved, join the campaign by clicking the button below.

Scotland's for Sale! But Who is Buying Logo

Background information

Scotland has one of the most concentrated landownership patterns in the world.

Swipe through the slides to understand more about why that is.

Did you know that 433 landowners own 50% of Scotland’s privately owned rural land? That’s one of the most concentrated landownership patterns in the whole world.

Scotland has one of the most concentrated landownership patterns in the world.

Swipe through the slides to understand more about why that is.

Concentrated landownership is often thought of as an issue which only affects the Highlands and Islands, but it affects us all. The Lowlands of Scotland faced clearances and enclosure during the agricultural and industrial revolutions, fundamentally transforming Scotland’s economy and changing landownership/land use in the South. The Lowland clearances lead to mass dispossession, and a growth in labour force in towns and cities with awful living conditions, while fuelling Britain’s Imperial expansion overseas.

The South of Scotland is facing massive economic and social challenges, while powerful landed interests in the South often fly under the radar. Read through to find out more.

Buccleuch & Fergus Ewing

Understanding who owns Scotland and how the pattern of landownership is changing is crucial for tackling land injustice in Scotland. The current trend is being driven by powerful financial interests and there are no meaningful measures in place to reverse it. Andy Wightman’s (2024) research reveals who the biggest private landowners are in Scotland today. 

Andy Wightman’s Research


Scotland’s rural housing crisis is worsening – the current housing system is broken. When communities own the land they live on housing needs can be prioritised, leading to more sustainable, thriving rural places.

Since the late 1970s, Scotland has been heavily reliant on private developers to meet housing needs. This is playing a huge role in the housing crisis because building enough affordable homes to meet the current need is at odds with the duty of these companies: to maximise profits to their shareholders.

When communities own their own land, they can build housing that actually meets housing demand, which is urgently needed.

land & carbon offsetting

Did you know that Scotland’s land is being bought and sold at a large scale for carbon offsetting projects?

Swipe through to understand how this is impacting the land market and local communities, and what can be done to help address these injustices and tackle the climate crisis.

Scotland’s for sale, and carbon offsetting schemes are buying it to sell carbon credits to the likes of Shell, Thales and Barclays.

If you want to find out more, read the article by the Ferret: Revealed: The big firms snapping up Scottish carbon credits (

Land & Biodiversity

Activities associated with Scotland’s history of concentrated landownership, such as burning moorlands and overgrazing, massively contributed to our biodiversity being depleted.
Now ‘green lairds’ are profiting from Scotland’s unequal land ownership structures and driving up the land prices, while communities who want to restore local biodiversity and create local economic opportunities are struggling to acquire land.
Swipe through to understand more.

Is it a coincidence that Scotland’s biodiversity is so depleted when so few people own the land? This week we’re exploring that link.

Global Land Justice

The legacies of colonialism are still visible in Scotland’s landownership patterns today, and colonial legacies continue to impact the lives of local communities and indigenous peoples all over the world.
Fighting for land reform in Scotland is part of a broader movement of fighting for land justice globally.



Land Reform Bill

There is currently a new Land Reform Bill being discussed in Scottish Parliament. This is a great opportunity, but as it stands the bill is unlikely to have any real impact on land injustice in Scotland.
We don’t want to see this opportunity wasted, especially when we are facing such urgent crises in housing, climate and biodiversity.
Sign up to our mailing list to get involved!

There is currently a new Land Reform Bill being discussed in Parliament, but it is no where near strong enough to make a meaningful difference to Scotland’s unequal and concentrated landownership. Swipe through for everything you need to know.

If you want to stay up to date on what’s happening with the Bill, and land reform more generally, you can sign up to our campaign mailing list on our web page. Get involved!


If you are interested in our campaign, please contact Josh Doble or Flora Brown.