Lie of the land

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Susan Forde (Letters, 3 August) really must do her research better before she paints her picture of a communal idyll in Norway.

It may well be that communities thrive there because more powers are devolved, but this has nothing whatever to do with constitutional arrangements with Westminster.

The Scottish Government has it in its power now to devolve more to local communities. It just won’t.

Nor does it have anything to do with land ownership. In 
Norway private landowners own 2.3 million acres of the land mass or approximately 5 per cent, while community-owned land totals 600,000 acres or 1 per cent.

The top eight private owners of private land in Norway own 1.46 million acres or 4.6 per cent of accessible land (accessible land in Norway is 55 per cent of the whole, which makes it somewhat different to the West Highlands of Scotland).

In Scotland, the largest eight landowners own 908,000 acres or 3.2 per cent of accessible land.

The largest landowner in Norway (the Astrup family) owns 326,000 acres or 0.8 per cent of accessible land, while the Duke of Baccleuch, the biggest landowner in Scotland, owns 268,000 acres or 1.3 per cent of the total.

There is a difference but the idea that such small differences would have any influence on the prosperity of communities is 

Mark Tennant