The Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA) has welcomed the Scottish Land Commission's latest piece of research on the impact of concentration of landownership in Scotland and is urging tenant farmers to respond to the Commission's call for evidence of their experiences of living and working in areas where there is a concentrated pattern of landownership.

The Land Commission has also published a report on the issue which looks at international approaches to limiting scale and concentration of landownership issues. It accompanies an independent discussion paper on landownership issues in Scotland written by former MSP, Peter Peacock, designed to stimulate public debate.

Commenting on the Land Commission's research STFA chairman Christopher Nicholson said: "There have been a number of empirical and statistical studies on the pattern of landownership, but this is the first time that it is being examined from the perspective of people at the sharp end who are directly involved or affected by a highly concentrated pattern of landownership.

"Tenant farmers are, by definition, probably the group of people who are most affected by the concentrated pattern of landownership in Scotland...

"In all situations the way in which the land is managed has a profound impact on people's lives and is highly dependent on the attitude and behaviour of the landowner."

Mr Nicholson went on: "Landowners' organisations continue to hold fast to the mantra that it is not who owns the land that is important, but how it is used, but that argument ignores the power and control that a few individuals owning vast tracts of land can exert over local communities. Their influence can be beneficial, but it can also stifle enterprise and ambition, and there are no guarantees that it will always be in the public interest. This new piece of research by the Land Commission should shed light on how a concentration of landownership is viewed by those most affected.

"STFA would encourage tenant farmers and others living in rural communities to take part in the survey and contact the Land Commission with their experiences and views on what it is like to live in an area dominated by large landowners."

Submissions made to the review will be treated in strictest confidence and the Land Commission can be contacted at 0300 244 4452 or by email:

The survey, which takes no more than 10 minutes, can be found at the Land Commission's website.