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March 23, 2016

Land held in trust

Scotland’s uniquely concentrated pattern of land ownership restricts development in so many respects across many different areas of activity. Land values and a shortage of agricultural land are often seen as insurmountable barriers to new entrants to farming. But necessity is the mother of invention and creative collective responses often emerge when individuals find themselves stymied. Nourish Scotland and others have co-authored the Local People Leading policy paper on Food and a proposal to establish a Farm Land Trust is part of their recommendations.


Johnathon Agnew, SFLT.


To view the full paper click here

This document proposes the establishment of a Scottish Farm Land Trust (SFLT). Taking inspiration from crofting, community ownership and Terre de Liens amongst others, the principle is to create an organisation which raises capital to purchase small farms in order to provide secure, affordable leases to growers. Keeping the land in trust would secure it in ecologically sustainable production and support access to land. This is in response to the difficulties experienced by those wishing to gain access to land, resulting principally from the concentrated system of land ownership and high cost of land. It also comes as a desire to counter the pattern of industrialised farming which dominates rural Scotland and support the invigoration of rural communities by enabling small-scale food, fuel and fibre production.

The aim of this document is to summarise the concept and gather support and interest in establishing the SFLT. It includes the principles of the project and an outline of the projected timeline.

We are currently forming a steering committee and taking steps towards establishing the organisation. If in reading this you are motivated to support the establishment of the SFLT please email