Repeopling Emptied Places: Centenary reflections on the significance and the enduring legacy of the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act 1919

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Land is at the heart of Scotland’s identity, economy and communities. The way
we own and use land is fundamental to realising Scotland’s ambitions for a fairer
and greener economy. Land reform across both urban and rural land can unlock
opportunities for delivering the healthy and dynamic environments, economies
and communities Scotland wants.
Land reform is not a new thing. Scotland’s current pattern of land
ownership, management and use is a product of years of evolving tradition,
law and practice. This year, 2019, marks one hundred years since the Land
Settlement Act in Scotland. The Act aimed to resettle populations following the end of the First World War through the creation of smallholdings and crofts.
As a result, a great deal of resettlement was made possible in areas that had
suffered population declines over previous years. Among those was the settlement of 67 previously landless families from Harris and Lewis at Portnalong which transformed into a populated and thriving township.
Now, when we are faced with declining populations within some of our most
fragile rural communities, we have to look at the past to learn from the lessons and experience it has to show us alongside new and innovative solutions to tackling land issues. Looking at the personal stories in this book in parallel to the challenges rural Scotland is facing helps to open up the debate for solutions and opportunities land reform can provide.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages56
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019



  • land ownership

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