The ongoing debate on land reform is often characterised as one where 'progressive' land reformers are pitched against 'intransigent' landowners, which is a great pity as the topic of land reform should lead us all to challenge whether we are making the most of our natural resources.

A truly progressive debate should have at its heart constructive dialogue and a frank assessment of the issues that confront various communities and business sectors.

The Scottish Government's Minister for Land Reform, Dr Aileen Macleod, recently talked of the need for much greater collaboration and co-operation between landowners and communities. No-one should argue with that. She also, however, recognised the social, economic and environmental contribution made by private landowners - a contribution that delivers substantial public benefit rather than simply serving the interests of a landowner.

I don't believe that we at Buccleuch are anti-land reform as there are some proposed measures such as migrating land registration onto the land registry which are constructive suggestions. Also, the sentiment behind dealing with abandoned or neglected land is right - but the challenge here is to get the correct definition. There are also many ways in which agriculture could be improved but binding the subject into land reform does, in my view, the farming industry a disservice.

Sadly, the land reform debate is too easily narrowed into the issue of ownership alone. I can fully understand that some people do not like the concept of individuals owning large tracts of land. However, the portrayal of landowners simply 'owning' land - and therefore preventing progress - is far removed from what happens on the vast majority of estates.

Most landowners I know have a very deep sense of commitment to the land they manage and wish to make the best use of it, not just for them for the benefit and enjoyment of all and for future generations.

Any estate owner will tell you that productive use of land is the main priority and it may take many forms, agriculture, tourism, forestry, leisure, energy are all areas where private landowners make a significant contribution.

Surely, both the private and public sector have a role to play - as they do in most walks of life. Land use should be no different. There are examples where community ownership has proved to be successful and examples where private landownership has not been delivering as much wider benefit as it could. We should be honest enough to admit that the reverse is also true - community ownership is not always a panacea and, in truth, there are parts of Scotland where there is not really a great demand for it.

I believe it would be more productive if there were to be greater acceptance that there is room for everyone - community, private, public and charitable ownership - and each model will face major challenges on how they use land to the best effect.

It is a challenge we face on the Buccleuch estates on a daily basis. Buccleuch is a business and, while I am extremely proud of our heritage, we are wholly committed to looking to the future as a modern and progressive business.

Our core operations of tourism, hospitality and energy are sectors that we firmly believe are of benefit to Scotland. 120,000 people annually visit our estates to enjoy a vast array of activities.

Our plans to redevelop Dalkeith Country Park are well underway and will provide a range of benefits to the local community, creating around 35 new jobs along with a first-class visitor destination.

We believe there are substantial economic and community benefits which could be stimulated in the South-West through potential renewable energy resources. For example, we are a committed partner in the restoration of the Glenmuckloch mine which again has provided local employment and our energy ambitions in that area, should they be realised, could generate direct and indirect community benefit running into many millions of pounds.

Scotland's land is very varied, offering an array of opportunities to deliver more for our nation. Many landowners do their level best to make a positive contribution to rural Scotland and the interests of rural Scotland would be better served if a more collaborative and less adversarial approach is taken to how we use land in Scotland.