Lairds, Land and Sustainability: Scottish Perspectives on Upland Management

Lairds, Land and Sustainability: Scottish Perspectives on Upland Management

by Jayne Glass


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Lairds, Land and Sustainability: Scottish Perspectives on Upland Management by Jayne Glass

Scotland is at the heart of modern, sustainable upland management. Large estates cover vast areas of the uplands, with a long, complex and emotive history of ownership and use.

In recent decades, the Scottish uplands have increasingly been the arena for passionate debates over large-scale land management issues. Crucially, what kinds of ownership and management will best deliver sustainable futures for upland environments and communities?

Although the globally unique dominance of private ownership remains a distinctive characteristic of Scotland's uplands, increasing numbers of estates are now owned by environmental NGOs and local communities, especially since the Land Reform (Scotland) Act of 2003. A decade after the passage of this landmark Act, this book synthesises research carried out on a diverse range of upland estates by the Centre for Mountain Studies at Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands. The findings from privately-owned estates as well as those owned by communities, charities and conservation groups will prove enlightening and relevant to upland managers, policy makers, and researchers across Britain and Europe.

With the Scottish Government promoting a vision of environmental sustainability, and with the new diversity of ownerships and management now appearing, this timely and topical book investigates the implications of these different types of land ownership for sustainable upland management.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780748645909
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 02/28/2013
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 9.40(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jayne Glass is Research Associate at the University of the Highlands and Islands Martin Price is Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands Charles Warren is Senior Lecturer in the Deapartment of Geography & Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews Martin Price is Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands Charles Warren is Senior Lecturer in the Deapartment of Geography & Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews Alister Scott is Professor of Environment and Spatial Planning at the Birmingham City University

Table of Contents

Preface ix

List of acronyms xi

List of tables xii

List of figures xiii

List of boxes xiv

Notes on the contributors xvii

Part 1 Sustainability in the uplands

Chapter 1 Sustainability in the uplands: introducing key concepts 3

Introduction 3

The focus of this book 4

Defining uplands 6

Human dimensions of change in upland regions 9

What does a sustainability agenda imply for the governance of upland areas? 11

What can we learn from collaborative, landscape-scale approaches to upland governance? 14

Why should we afford more attention to property rights? 17

Unpacking private and common property rights 18

Land reform and a 'community ownership' turn? 20

Contemporary property rights in the Scottish uplands: a brief overview 22

Conclusion 23

Notes 25

References 25

Chapter 2 Recognising Scotland's upland ecosystem services 32

Introduction 32

From sectoral to integrated approaches to managing UK uplands 34

Recognising ecosystem services with upland managers in mind 38

From 'traditional' to 'consumptive' enterprises: provisioning services 38

Upland agriculture: a less favoured enterprise? 39

Towards sustainable forest management and renewable energy provision 40

Experiencing uplands: cultural services 42

Upland biodiversity: habitats that span landscapes 43

Upland recreation: a growing industry 44

Field sports and game management 45

What role for climate-change mitigation and risk management? 48

Upland communities and economies 49

What are the lessons for sustainable governance? 50

Notes 52

References 52

Part 2 Perspectives from private landownership

Chapter 3 The Scottish private estate 63

Introduction 53

The rise of the sporting estate 53

The current dominance of private landownership 65

Absentee and foreign ownership 66

Twenty-first-century land reform 68

Impacts of land reform on private landownership 70

The contemporary privately owned estate 74

Conclusion 79

Notes 81

References 81

Chapter 4 What motivates private landowners? 86

Introduction 86

Landowners' motivations and attitudes 86

Investigating owners' priorities on selected estates 87

The priorities and motivations of private landowners 90

Investigating estate economics 93

The estate's natural heritage 99

The social implications of private landownership 101

The impact of motivation on landowner decisions 104

Notes 106

References 106

Chapter 5 The laird and the community 108

Introduction 108

Exploring interactions between landowners and communities 109

Identifying key issues 112

Housing 112

Employment 113

Community spirit and cohesion 115

The role of the landowner in addressing community issues 116

Housing provision and development 116

Developing employment opportunities 119

Players, processes and policy: the potential for private landowner and estate community partnerships 123

Breaking down traditional hierarchies 123

Positive communication and the 'face' of the estate 124

Proactive involvement 125

Resource and skill limitations 126

Disconnection, a pathy and uncertainty 127

Inequality and power relations 129

Implications for policy and practice 131

Notes 133

References 134

Part 3 Perspectives from community and NGO landownership

Chapter 6 Community landownership: rediscovering the road to sustainability 139

Introduction 139

The emergence of communal land tenure in Scotland 139

Community landownership - panacea or Pandora's Box for sustainability? 140

Exploring sustainability on Europe's western edge 144

Methodology: capturing different narratives of community ownership 145

Impacts and processes of community landownership - narratives of experience 146

Narratives of sustainable rural development 146

Theme 1: Community capacity (re-)building 146

Theme 2: Redefining participatory governance and collaborative working 150

The role of local leadership and communication in managing conflict 152

Theme 3: Building a framework for economic development 154

Theme 4: Reconfiguring community-natural resource relationships 161

Discussion 165

Moving towards a sustainable future 165

Investing in social capital 166

Managing conflict 167

Economic challenges and the importance of the community asset base 168

Reconstructing sustainability 169

References 170

Chapter 7 Buying nature: a review of environmental NGO landownership 173

Introduction 173

Environmental NGOs - the wider context 174

The rise of conservation NGO landownership in Scotland 175

Environmental NGO landowners - part of a sustainable future for Scotland? 178

Species and habitat conservation 178

Landscape protection and enhancement 181

Socioeconomic benefits and impacts 182

Collaborative working 184

Discussion - NGO landownership in twenty-first-century Scotland 184

Notes 185

References 185

Part 4 Aligning upland estate management with sustainability

Chapter 8 A sustainability tool for the owners and managers of upland estates 191

Introduction 191

Defining sustainability principles for upland estates 192

Sustainability indicators and the importance of participation 192

Developing a sustainability tool 193

Input from a range of stakeholders 194

A collective thought process 194

Perceptions and principles of sustainability in estate management 196

The tool in detail 197

Sustainability Principle 1 Adapting management 201

Sustainability Principle 2 Broadening options 203

Sustainability Principle 3 Ecosystem thinking 203

Sustainability Principle 4 Linking into social fabric 207

Sustainability Principle 5 Thinking beyond the estate 208

Using the tool on the ground 212

Moving forwards 213

Notes 214

References 214

Chapter 9 Lessons for sustainable upland management 218

Introduction 218

Key outcomes from the research: aligning upland estate management with sustainability 219

A proactive estate is a sustainable estate 219

The importance of taking a long-term approach in estate planning 220

The importance of connectivity 222

The multifunctional roles of estates 223

The virtuous circle of community engagement and collaboration 224

Looking ahead: implications for policy, practice and future research 227

Conclusions 229

Notes 230

References 231

Index 234

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