Tenants’ forum urged to be ‘constructive’

NFUS Chief Executive, Scott Walker
NFUS Chief Executive, Scott Walker

The Tenant Farming Forum (TFF) is best placed to come up with solutions to land tenure issues, says the Land Reform Review Group (LRRG) in its interim report out on Monday.

The LRRG of 12 advisors was set up last year to look at the 2003 Land Reform (Scotland) Act and how communities could benefit from further reform.

The interim report is based on evidence received through visits, meetings and more than 475 submissions.

In their study, LRRG’s Dr Alison Elliot and Dr Sarah Skerratt say: “We are aware of the complexities of farming tenancies. This aspect of rural Scotland is clearly problematic and requires sensitive and expert attention.

“For the LRRG to address these issues would be to interfere with the work of the TFF and to stray considerably away from our remit which focuses on communities rather than relationships between individuals.

“We urge the TFF to respond constructively to the tenants’ concerns and proposals.”

NFU Scotland will be discussing land tenure at a seminar in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Union chief executive Scott Walker said: “Scotland requires access to flexible and fluid arrangements for landlords, tenants and owner-occupiers to take advantage of and our seminar in Edinburgh next week will look to establish how we achieve that.”

Part of LRRG’s next phase of work will look at how to better encourage more communities to have a stake in owning and managing land. The LRRG recommendations are expected in April next year.