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July 3, 2013

Important additions to group

Latest machinations from the Land Reform Review Group. As the Group begins the second phase of its work and in particular the various work streams it has identified for itself, new faces have been invited to play a part. Of particular interest is the appointment of Robin Callander. Robin has written and researched extensively on land ownership and has previously acted as special advisor on land issues and the crown estates in both Westminster and Holyrood.  


Important additions to Group

The LRRG is re-examining the 2003 Land Reform (Scotland) Act, and how communities in Scotland could benefit from further land reform. In Phase Two of its research, the LRRG will consider what steps can be taken to better encourage more communities in both rural and urban Scotland to have a stake in the ownership, management and use of land.

The interim report represents where the LRRG has got to so far, based on evidence received through visits, meetings and a wide call for evidence, which received over 475 submissions.

The report outlines the next steps and themes which are likely to be the focus of investigation in Phase Two of the review before the LRRG present their findings to Ministers in 2014.

The report received mixed reviews and subsequent to its publication there has been an active debate across the sector as to what the Group’s direction and future focus should be. The latest chapter in this debate has been prompted by an article from the CEO of Scottish land and Estates, Douglas MacAdam. The article and subsequent comments can be followed here.

LRRG Chairperson, Dr Alison Elliot, said: “We have been given a wide ranging remit by the Scottish Government to look at how positive outcomes for people and communities throughout Scotland can be achieved through land reform.

“Our research so far has clearly outlined the potential for fresh approaches to land reform and the importance of engaging the whole community in this. I’m looking forward to exploring these issues in more detail in the second phase so that our land can continue to contribute to the success of Scotland for future generations.”

The Group has been expanded to include :

Robin Callander

Robin lives in Birse parish, Aberdeenshire, and is self-employed.  He acts an adviser and agent for Birse Community Trust and the Birse Trading Company.  He also undertakes work as an independent special adviser to parliamentary and other public interest committees. He is currently retained as a Special Adviser by the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee and in recent years, has served in that capacity in both Parliaments for inquiries by the Treasury, Scottish Affairs and Scotland Bill Committees into the Crown Estate. He has been involved in practical land management for nearly 40 years. He has served on a range of government and NGO committees and been a Deer Commissioner and Crofters Commissioner. He is the author of ‘A Pattern of Landownership in Scotland’ (1987) and ‘How Scotland is Owned’ (1998). He managed the McEwen Lectures on Land Tenure in Scotland (1993-99).

Pip Tabor

Pip Tabor graduated in Biology at the University of York, went on to do a teaching qualification and then taught science in Humberside for 4 years and then in Bhutan for the next three. He then joined Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) as Field Officer and helped run a programme of 35 volunteers working in education, health, agriculture, construction and information technology. In 1993 he undertook an MSc in Natural Resource Management at Edinburgh University and then joined Scottish Natural Heritage in the Borders where he was Area Officer for 5 years.

In 1999 he was appointed Project Manager of the Southern Uplands Partnership which has grown to be a major player in rural development in Southern Scotland.

He lives in the Scottish Borders with his artist partner and their three children.