Land ownership

Half of Scotland is owned by just 500 people, few of whom are actually Scots. As Britain's great land-owning aristocratic families decline, a new breed of foreign laird is exploiting Scotland's arcane land laws to buy up tracts of the Highlands and islands - Europe's last great wilderness.  In 2018/2019 it was reported that the largest landowner owns 221,000 acres (890 km2; 345 sq mi) of land in Scotland. The government believes 57% of rural land is in private hands, about 12.5% owned by public bodies, 3% under community ownership and about 2.5% is owned by charities etc.

Full answer here: Land ownership in Scotland

Forest Ownership in Scotland: Policy Review

Author / Creator: Jon Hollingdale

Media type: Report

Date published: 2023

Forestry ownership is intimately related to the multi-faceted requirements of land reform.


Author / Creator: Craig Dalzell

Media type: consultation response

Date published: 2023

These proposals seek to change the way that Scotland buys, sells, transfers and holds land

Land Reform for the Common Good

Author / Creator: Calum MacLeod

Media type: Discussion Paper

Date published: 2023

The current form of land ownership does not promote the common good.

Small landholdings modernisation: consultation

Author / Creator: Scottish Government

Media type: Consultation paper

Date published: 2022

Views on proposals relating to the modernisation of small landholdings

Charles: King of the Landlords

Author / Creator: George Kerevan

Media type: Opinion

Date published: 2022

The Windsors are about land and land is about political control.

Land Reform In A Net Zero Nation

Author / Creator: Craig Dalzell

Media type: Policy Paper

Date published: 2022

Scotland cannot afford for this latest round of land reform to fail, as at least two previous attempts.

Who Owns Scotland

Author / Creator: Andy Wightman

Media type: Website

Date published: 2022 -

Who Owns Scotland is a project designed to provide information about who owns land in Scotland.

Land and Property Titles by Country of Origin: Report

Author / Creator: Registers of Scotland

Media type: Report

Date published: 31 December, annually

Land titles with a UK owner address outwith Scotland represent just under a sixth of the country’s land area.

Green finance, land reform and a just transition to net zero

Author / Creator: Jon Hollingdale

Media type: Discussion Paper

Date published: February 2022

Land reform is required to meet the climate change objectives of the Scottish Government.

The effects associated with concentrated and large-scale land ownership in Scotland: a research review

Author / Creator: Jayne Glass

Media type: Research review

Date published: March 2019

Central is the power that a landowner holds over local land use decisions and the extent to which local communities and other stakeholders can influence/inform those decisions.

Reform Scotland’s Land

Author / Creator: Common Weal

Media type: Video

Date published: 2020

Land reform is a social justice issue. How can democratic decisions about the kind of country we want in the face of a small number of landowners?


Land Reform: Re-Shaping Scotland’s Social Landscape

Author / Creator: Dylan Howel

Media type: News Item

Date published:

Scotland has one of the most concentrated patterns of private land ownership in the developed world. Just 450 people own over half of the private land in Scotland. This entitlement has survived un-challenged for 500 years, a privilege that has its roots in royal favours and aristocratic archetypes