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Calls for land reform in Scotland

Scotland’s Environment Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, says there should be a more equitable redistribution of land otherwise “we, in Parliament, will have failed the people of Scotland”.

In an interview with BBC Scotland, he said: “My party genuinely believes that there should be a fairer distribution of land, that communities should have access to land to fulfill their aspirations.”

The Scottish Government has set up the Land Reform Review Group to look into the issues, asking for “radical” suggestions. The Group will report its findings to the Government in April.

Alex Hogg, chairman of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, responded:

“Rural workers such as gamekeepers, gillies and their families will be deeply worried at what the Scottish Government’s land reform drive, as indicated by the Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse, will mean for their livelihoods.

“It seems that the voices and the jobs of working keepers, who are at the sharp end of the skilled management of Scotland’s countryside, are being forgotten in this debate.

“We will be seeking clarification from the environment minister on what the Scottish government, and the leading Scottish National Party administration’s intentions are, when it comes to safeguarding the jobs of those drawn into what seems to be an ideological issue.”