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David Goldsmith


Posts: 1172
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 10:46
23rd Oct 2014
Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 16.59hrs on Fri 2 Mar 12
There ain't much snow and skiing to discuss at the moment ... not that these are natural subjects for George Monbiot ... but how about "112 people employed on 780 sq km. That's one person for every seven square kilometres."

I must admit that for a southerner like myself, this is an amazing statistic, given that we share the same coastline ... but also explains the wonder of escaping into utter wilderness within our shared land mass.

Do Monbiot's facts and views ...

[www.guardian.co.uk]

... reflect popular concern and opinion in Scotland?
DonaldM


Posts: 657
Joined: Jan 2009
Last Visited: 15:00
23rd Oct 2014
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 17.08hrs on Fri 2 Mar 12
We need wholescale change to land ownership in Scotland. My own view is that companies or individuals not headquartered or resident in Scotland should not be allowed to buy large areas of land.

There are too many "sporting" estates and far too many deer. I fully support efforts by the NTS to get the deer numbers down. Maybe without fences though. They shouldn't have backed down to the other estates.

As for jobs, sporting estates provide low paid, insecure jobs from massive areas. People need security of property and income and a few gillies aren't going to do that.

The people of Aviemore should be getting together to buy the CairnGorm Estate from HIE, for 1.

Come independence though the establishment will have taken a mortal blow in Scotland hence their current resistance.

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For campervan hire in Scotland visit [www.albacampervans.com] - Bhanaichean Campachaidh ann an Alba
harley


Posts: 123
Joined: Mar 2010
Last Visited: 18:21
27th Apr 2014
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 17.14hrs on Fri 2 Mar 12
DonaldM Wrote:
We need wholescale change to land ownership in Scotland. My own view is that companies or individuals not headquartered or resident in Scotland should not be allowed to buy large areas of land.

There are too many "sporting" estates and far too many deer. I fully support efforts by the NTS to get the deer numbers down. Maybe without fences though. They shouldn't have backed down to the other estates.

As for jobs, sporting estates provide low paid, insecure jobs from massive areas. People need security of property and income and a few gillies aren't going to do that.

The people of Aviemore should be getting together to buy the CairnGorm Estate from HIE, for 1.

Come independence though the establishment will have taken a mortal blow in Scotland hence their current resistance.
Sounds like Germany in 1933 !
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For campervan hire in Scotland visit

mtq1000


Posts: 572
Joined: Oct 2008
Last Visited: 11:24
22nd Apr 2014
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 18.02hrs on Fri 2 Mar 12
Interesting paper and lines up with my own views. The highlands are in no way a "natural" environment as so many people, including environmental lobbyists would have you believe. This has been discussed on WH before, the effects of deer and sheep on the scottish countryside cannot be underestimated. Compare and contrast that with the environmental impact of say a ski centre, pales in comparison. For my part I Would gladly see the number of deer decimated.

The work being carried out in Knoydart, Glen Derry and other areas shows that when you remove deer from the area the vegetation will come back.

As for Donald's views that the "establishment" will take a mortal blow, I very much doubt that. I do not see the SNP or any other political party changing the laws on land ownership so drastically as to remove these owners and returning the land to its' people. You have to remember that all political parties require "donations" and when the rich come under threat they will donate an awful lot of money. Cough Cough Cough.......
DonaldM


Posts: 657
Joined: Jan 2009
Last Visited: 15:00
23rd Oct 2014
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 18.11hrs on Fri 2 Mar 12
Scottish independence, when it comes (maybe not this time around) will sever the direct control links between many of the landed people and "their" land. It's not just about laws.

read this: [www.bbc.co.uk]

200 million is peanuts in the bigger scale of things. As an ex-SNH guy once said to me "the Highlands are a biological slum".

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For campervan hire in Scotland visit [www.albacampervans.com] - Bhanaichean Campachaidh ann an Alba
moffatross


Posts: 1442
Joined: Mar 2006
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 18.34hrs on Fri 2 Mar 12
DonaldM Wrote:We need wholescale change to land ownership in Scotland. My own view is that companies or individuals not headquartered or resident in Scotland should not be allowed to buy large areas of land


I agree with Harley. That sounds close to a scary neo-fascist policy to me too and would play right into the hands of jingoistic nationalists.

If what you actually meant was that land should only be rightfully 'owned' by people who are actually residing on it and not just living in the same nation that it was part of, then maybe that's a different argument. I can't see the difference between a toff living in Edinburgh, educated at Eton and Oxford or St Andrews owning a shooting estate in the Highlands over their counterpart in London doing the same thing.

And as for those Scots who've decided to up sticks and live in London whingeing about their rights to a referendum vote .... tongue sticking out smiley



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 18.34hrs Fri 2 Mar 12 by moffatross.
DonaldM


Posts: 657
Joined: Jan 2009
Last Visited: 15:00
23rd Oct 2014
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 18.46hrs on Fri 2 Mar 12
This is the problem, again, with this sort of debate - I say something about who owns land and basing it on the notion that it should be directly connected and accountable to the people. But instead you think I maybe talking about some kind of policy based on birth. I even said "resident in Scotland". I never understand why so much paranoia and cynicism exists. it must be a British thing ;-)

So yes, accountable to people, owned by people (whoever they are) and run from Scotland.

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For campervan hire in Scotland visit [www.albacampervans.com] - Bhanaichean Campachaidh ann an Alba
moffatross


Posts: 1442
Joined: Mar 2006
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 19.00hrs on Fri 2 Mar 12
^
Not paranoia, just a logical question ... what'd be the point of such legislation/policy ? Why would say the Duke of Buccleugh, living in Dumfriesshire who also owns estates in England and Australia be a better manager of somewhere in the Highlands than say the Duke of Northumberland ? My opinion is it'd be policy for the sake of a misguided sense of nationalism rather than one of logic. smiling smiley
DonaldM


Posts: 657
Joined: Jan 2009
Last Visited: 15:00
23rd Oct 2014
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 19.06hrs on Fri 2 Mar 12
The point would be to place power at community level as to how land is managed, enable decisions to be taken that reflect local priorities, take away the notion of tied housing, decrease the attractivness of the Highlands as a wild, empty play area where money buys power, etc.

Again you're being paranoid, this is nothing to do with nationalism and you are the only one mentioning it. Take the system in Norway, anyone thinking that is based upon nationaism is barking up the wrong tree, which is interesting, as there aren't many trees in Scotland these days.

Nothing to do with nationalism, everything to do with placing power in the hands of people who live in these areas and who are directly affected by the decisions of people who have often bought, inherited or acquired power.

But if you don't believe me ask the people of Assynt, Gigha, Eigg and soon Pirc in Lewis.

Check this out: [www.monbiot.com]

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For campervan hire in Scotland visit [www.albacampervans.com] - Bhanaichean Campachaidh ann an Alba
moffatross


Posts: 1442
Joined: Mar 2006
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 19.24hrs on Fri 2 Mar 12
^
You're still calling me paranoid ? On the one hand you didn't seem to agree with me when I said ...

moffatross Wrote:If what you actually meant was that land should only be rightfully 'owned' by people who are actually residing on it and not just living in the same nation that it was part of, then maybe that's a different argument.


and then you said ...

DonaldM Wrote:Nothing to do with nationalism, everything to do with placing power in the hands of people who live in these areas and who are directly affected by the decisions of people who have often bought, inherited or acquired power.


I just don't get your point. The whole concept sounds like it's rooted in paranoia to me and to suggest that I'm the paranoid one instead just seems a bit ironic.

Never mind, I don't care enough to argue any more. And as this is the main skiing forum, David Goldsmith should have stuck this posts in 'The Bothy' anyway. winking smiley
DonaldM


Posts: 657
Joined: Jan 2009
Last Visited: 15:00
23rd Oct 2014
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 08.32hrs on Sat 3 Mar 12
I'm not sure where the source of your confusion is. I would say however that it IS paranoid to link a notion of land ownership with neo-fascism and I object to that slur especially when I have never said or even hinted at such motives.


The purpose would be to prevent a company or individual who doesn't reside in scotland to buy an estate. In other words laws are passed to prevent this. I'd go further and say that the local community should have first call on the estate and only if they refuse should it then go on the open market. Note that those individuals could be from anywhere, residency being the qualifying mark.

By doing this the power and decision making would be much closer to the community. Like I say, ask the people of Eigg etc. I don't think they are fascists.

It is relevant to skiing as we now have moves by HIE to get rid of the CairnGorm Estate which in my view should be considered as a land buyout by Strathspey residents.

The White Corries is owned by the Flemmings, if I understand correctly. Lecht by the Crown Estate, Nevis Range by Rio Tinto (I think) and Glenshee I am not sure.

This doesn't include the rest of the hills which people tour on.

This is very relevant to skiing.

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For campervan hire in Scotland visit [www.albacampervans.com] - Bhanaichean Campachaidh ann an Alba
alan


Posts: 9449
Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 02:58
23rd Oct 2014
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 10.17hrs on Sat 3 Mar 12
The Guardian report is simplistic and doesn't really acknowledge that fact that their are good and bad lairds both absentee and not. Much more land has been on the market than has had interest registered through the Land Reform Act by community groups. Not every community has the desire or sufficient people to whom a community buyout would be relevant.

Restrictions on land ownership could well be counter productive, a cut your nose off to spite your face job if the full issues are not very carefully thought out. Where the LRA needs strengthened is the option to go beyond merely registering interest, to in certain circumstance to a system where a sales process can be initiated when the present ownership and (mis)management is demonstratably against the community interest. This needs to be very carefully set out and used very sparingly.

There is a wide spread misconception that laird = loaded and a very comfortable life of leisure. The reality for many highland lairds who own and manage family estates could not be much more different. They may or may not live in a big house, but more often or not they are cash poor, the big house is a big liability, which has to be run as a business in it's own right to help keep the whole show on the road, along with associated jobs and housing provided to the local community. There are lairds who don't give a **** and they need dealt with, but there others who literally work 6 am to 10pm 7 days a week to make ends meet so they can meet what they consider their obligations to the local community.
Chionophile


Posts: 688
Joined: Jan 2009
Last Visited: 15:38
12th Oct 2014
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 10.36hrs on Sat 3 Mar 12
Lecht Ski Area north of the county boundary is owned by Crown Estate, south of the boundary by Allargue Estate, Glenshee Ski Area lies wholly within Invercauld Estate, which is one of the biggest in the country.

In a number of countries, local communities own and run mountain land and woodland, e.g. Switzerland, Norway, Iceland. Swiss farmers are owner-occupiers and the average size of farm has remained far lower than in Scotland. In the USA and Canada as well as in much of central and northern Europe, farmers own much woodland and run it as part of the farm business. Scotland is unusual in its highly skewed pattern of landownership, with a tiny proportion of the people (including state monoliths such as Forestry Commission, Crown Estate and Department of Agriculture) owning most pf the land. The individual and state landowners profit from selling land for development. This occurs even though the development potential arises almost invariably due to changes in society and not to any effort or spending by the landowners. Society funds the landowner's profit through the increased costs of houses, other buildings and roads.





Edited 1 times. Last edit at 10.40hrs Sat 3 Mar 12 by Chionophile.
JC


Posts: 577
Joined: Jan 2007
Last Visited: 20:10
2nd Oct 2014
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Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 10.42hrs on Sat 3 Mar 12
I couldn't agree less with Harley's comment about 1933's Germany, indeed I find it quite ridiculous.

I agree with DonaldM, with regard to land ownership. The minor revolutions in Assynt, Eigg, Gigha are fine examples of local people taking responsibility for the land they live upon. Much as one might recognise that as a species, our collective inherited duty as stewards of our planet is compromised globally by political and monetary interests, our accountability and management of the land at a local level IS something that can be done quite easily by comparison.


Doug_Bryce


Posts: 1213
Joined: Jan 2003
Re: Scottish mountains, absentee landlords, forests and deer
Date Posted: 11.48hrs on Sat 3 Mar 12
Whilst Lairds owning vast areas of land might not fit the socialist ideal it has certainly helped persevere vast wilderness areas in Scotland. That alone is a good thing ? Certainly there are much worse (i.e more damaging) uses for wild mountain areas than a shooting estate. Especially as modern 'right to roam' laws allows free access to the mountains for all.

The Fleming family, owners of the vast BlackMount estate, have historically been supportive of the Glencoe ski area for 50+ years. There is a long standing agreement that the land is leased to the ski centre in return for a nominal % of lift pass sales - and on occasion some of the Flemings still ski up there.

As ever the debate very much depends on individual circumstance / scenario.





Edited 1 times. Last edit at 11.50hrs Sat 3 Mar 12 by Doug_Bryce.
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