Community Land Ownership and Sustainability:  Sharing the Scottish Experience Thursday November 9th  2017 19.30 – 21.30  Methodist Church, Fore Street, Totnes

Talk by Calum MacLeod from Community Land Scotland, general discussion and panel discussion with Larch Maxey (Director of Bright Green Futures and Network of Wellbeing) and David Parkes (Community Juice).

A distinctive feature of Scotland’s pattern of landownership is its highly concentrated nature. More than 80% of Scotland is in private ownership and, of that, 50% is in the hands of 432 owners.  Over the last 20 years community ownership has emerged as an important element of Scotland’s land reform agenda, reinforced by institutional, fiscal and legislative action by successive Governments following the re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.  Although still a very small part of the landowning picture in Scotland, community land ownership therefore commands considerable political attention as a mechanism for pursuing sustainability goals in the public interest.  This attention is reflected in the creation of Community Land Scotland (CLS) in 2010 as an umbrella body representing the interests of a growing number of community landowners. At this event, Dr Calum MacLeod, an independent rural development consultant working on behalf of CLS, will explain how and why the community land sector has emerged and evolved in Scotland over the last twenty years. He’ll discuss practical examples of what CLS members have achieved in relation to the development of their communities and the motivations underpinning such initiatives including successes and challenges at both local and national level.  Following Calum’s talk there will be an opportunity to discuss key aspects of the Scottish experience that are of local relevance.