PROFESSOR David Adams, Land Commissioner at the Scottish Land Commission, is urging Borders' landowners, communities and members of the public to have their say on land before it's too late.

The Scottish Land Commission has been working behind the scenes to help the Government shape the Land Reform Bill, the consultation of which ends on October 30.

As the climate emergency becomes clearer he believes that Scotland's land is absolutely central to combating environmental worries -

He said: “There is a huge opportunity for land across the Scottish Borders to work in the community’s benefit if managed responsibly and fairly. There has never been a more important moment in time to create a fair land market across the south of Scotland.

“As the Scottish Government’s Land Reform Bill consultation deadline looms, individuals in the Scottish Borders can make a meaningful contribution to the debate by taking part and sharing their views.

“Over the last five years, the Scottish Land Commission has been working to provide a robust evidence base to support recommendations for making land work better in the public interest and to highlight the opportunities that land reform can bring to Scotland and its people.

“Part of that evidence included commissioning Scottish Rural University College (SRUC) to carry out research on ‘Interventions to manage land markets and limit the concentration of land ownership elsewhere in the world’.

“The research highlighted the long-standing concerns about the highly concentrated pattern of land ownership in rural areas of Scotland.

“One of the proposals in the Scottish Government’s consultation includes the introduction of a public interest test for the transfer of large-scale landholdings and a requirement on owners to give prior notice to community bodies if they intend to sell.

“This also has the potential to create greater transparency on who owns Scotland’s land alongside the proposed requirement of those benefiting from public funding and seeking subsidies to have land listed in the Land Register.

“The way we own, manage and use our land can rise to today’s challenges around net zero, nature restoration and a just transition. The Scottish Land Commission has pulled together all of the Commission's research and evidence, proposals and quick guides to provide the background information to the Scottish Government’s Land Reform Bill consultation and this can be found on our website:

“To get the balance right it is important that Scottish Government considers a wide range of views and I would urge people to make their own contribution by visiting the online portal, Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation, which remains open until October 30.”