Land reform

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Lesley Riddoch (Perspective, 11 May) states that landowners criticise the Land Reform Bill as a “Mugabe-style land raid”, which does not reflect the views of the landowning members of Scottish Land & Estates.

In choosing to make this unfounded assertion, it would appear that Ms Riddoch is attempting to demonise landowners.

As the organisation for landowners and estates, Scottish Land & Estates represents farms and estates across the country.

The terminology used by Ms Riddoch is attributed to landowners by the media and others.

There is undoubtedly concern from members about some elements of land reform legislation, with the uncertainty causing issues for rural businesses that want to get on, create jobs and support their communities.

However, we engage on our members’ behalf with government and other bodies to put 
forward their views in a constructive and positive manner, and to demonstrate the benefits private land ownership can bring to 
Scotland.

On Tuesday, our spring conference in Edinburgh will include contributions from Dr Aileen McLeod, the Scottish minister for environment, climate change and land reform, Pia Bucella from the European Commission and Peter Peacock from Community Land Scotland.

This strikes me as a membership that is willing to engage and listen to all opinions in the pursuit of securing the best future for rural Scotland.

While Ms Riddoch may support radical land reform, we would ask that she does not misrepresent the views of landowners as a means by which she can further her own objectives.

Douglas McAdam

Scottish Land & Estates

Musselburgh

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