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A seeker of truth, enlightenment and revolution in the Scots' relationship with their land, I am a writer and researcher on land issues in Scotland and the author of Who Owns Scotland and The Poor Had No Lawyers. From the common good to the Crown Estate and from the Highlands to house prices, little passes me by without comment. When not on a quest for new information, I can often be found working in the woods or walking in the hills. My favourite places are Lochnagar and the Historical Search Room in the National Records of Scotland.

Latest articles from Andy Wightman

Here’s why it matters that the Planning Bill isn't bold enough

TO most folk, the planning system is of little interest. It is a somewhat dry and technical subject and only tends to excite people when neighbours propose an extension to their house or a new road is proposed. But planning in its modern form has been around for 70 years since the Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 and has shaped much of our communities. Before that, Scots such as Patrick Geddes developed ideas on the art and science of planning.

‘The people have the right to know who owns land in Scotland'

TODAY’S revelations in the Sunday Herald highlight the scale and reach of secrecy jurisdictions in Scottish landownership. From flats in Glasgow to extensive hunting estates in the Highlands, unknown persons are hiding behind the corporate veil of Panamanian companies and the Scottish public are being denied information about who owns Scotland.

What land reform means for Scotland

Contrary to how it is often portrayed, it is not a process concerning only community landownership or farming tenants or indeed rural Scotland. It is in fact a process of reforming the legal, fiscal and administrative framework governing all land in Scotland. It is about how land is owned, occupied, taxed, inherited, and used from the centre of Glasgow to the island of Rockall in the North Atlantic.

This is the year to be bold on tackling land reform

The referendum in September is obviously important, although ongoing discussions on the shape of the CAP may have more impact in the immediate future. There are also three separate and quite distinct reviews under way on land reform. The independent Land Reform Review Group is due to report in April. The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee in Westminster is undertaking an inquiry into land reform and the agricultural holdings legislation is the subject of a ministerial-led review by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, Richard Lochhead.

A parliament that makes its people welcome

It is mildly amusing when I meet people who wonder how on earth one can survive without visiting the “capital” and even more amusing still when I remind them that, actually I already live in the “capital” (Edinburgh).

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