CURRENTLY, our elected representatives not only formulate the laws we live by but also write the rules about the procedure to formulate these laws. In an independent Scotland, a written constitution will provide the principles, rules and limits on the powers by which the politicians will govern us, and they won’t like you having a say in the content of that rule book.

The Constitution for Scotland website offers you the opportunity to share your thoughts on what should be included in a written constitution – with the objective of developing a more participative, fairer, and more equal, self-governing Scotland.

This week we invite you to look at Article 14 and have your say. While we can rightly become animated about how we attend to the governance of public business, and how the head of state should be selected, Article 14 is arguably the most important in the model constitution, covering natural resources, climate and environment, land registration and wildlife protection.

How people-first land reform can merge with managing the natural environment is something that we still have to crack. We need to find a means of these not being mutually exclusive as people have as much right to be on the land as wildlife. Managing the built environment in urban areas is equally important for climate change. Who actually owns our country or the specific areas where we live, work, and recreate at least, shouldn’t be an unfathomable mystery?

Will desirable policies on deer management or mountain hares fit in the current draft constitution? Does it need to be amended? How do we introduce safeguards to restrict land ownership by foreign nationals? Do we want to?

So, if you are interested in land management, the climate emergency, wildlife and land reform, we are relying on you and need you to be involved in the drafting, to help us, by which I mean all of us, get it right.

The UK Office for National Statistics found that the estimated partial asset value provided by natural resources in Scotland, such as wind, fertile land, timber, water, oil and gas, shale, peat, minerals and fishing was a massive £273 billion.

However, the current laws mainly prioritise benefit to wealthy elites, rather than the general populace, resulting in much inequality, poverty, and restricted land use.

Worldwide, climate and environmental disasters are getting worse – while here in Scotland, our sea fisheries are being adversely affected by the rising temperatures.

In our cities, our children’s lungs are being ruined by air pollution, and the loss of native woodland is a significant contributor to the flooding we are now only too frequently being subjected to. Land Registration – Scotland is unique amongst developed nations in not having a complete register of land and property.

While landowners have benefited greatly from unearned rises in land prices, local authorities are struggling to pay for public services. Come and share your suggestions for a fairer system of land ownership, and payment for use!

THERE are considerable amounts of ownerless or unregistered property in every local authority area at this time of housing shortage. What would you want in the nation’s constitution regarding land registration and usage?

The Scottish Wildlife Trust and others are working hard to achieve healthy, resilient ecosystems across our land, waterways, and seas following generations of persecution and destruction of habitats, but your help is needed.

For example, one-fifth of Scotland’s land mass is moorland, much of it deliberately created to be shot over for entertainment.

Most of our rivers, lochs, and burns are affected to a greater or less degree by pollution and many no longer support native wildlife, such as salmon, brown trout, mussels and otters that were so plentiful in past generations.

Should the constitution include reference to cleaning up our waterways? To the point that as native forest plantings will attract more wildlife than commercial forests, reforestation could generate more secure jobs and a stronger diverse economy, thus providing better environments for both wildlife and humans!

This consultation is your opportunity to input your own ideas on these and other core issues and vote on your preferences. Remember, politicians tend to listen only to those who support their point of view and that, as we see all too often, rarely serves the wellbeing of the rest of us folks. is a registered Scottish Charity with the aim of advancing participative democracy within the community of Scotland.

In the next instalment in the series, we will look at Article 15: general statutes such as law enforcement and policing, prohibition of the death penalty, national security, maritime protection, conventional armed forces, emergency powers, international treaties, a diplomatic service, and ban on nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

To interested groups, the Constitution for Scotland team offers a “guest speaker” introduction, demonstration, as well as a Q&A session within your own Zoom meeting. Please contact to make any arrangements.