07 January 2021
A new vision for land use in Scotland: 6 conversations

One of the biggest virtual events focused on land use in Scotland is being held in Spring 2021, organised by the Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) in conjunction with The James Hutton Institute.

Over the course of six weeks, nearly 50 of the best-informed speakers on all aspects of rural landseda event poster
use will engage in six “conversations” — each focused on a different aspect of how land is used
and how it could be better used, in Scotland.  The event, organised as a response to the climate emergency to coincide with COP26, the impossibility of Scotland meeting its net zero climate targets without radical change to its approach to land use, and the Covid-19 pandemic, will take the form of six “conversations”. Each will examine and explore Scotland’s land use and how this could or should change. The aim is to take a step back and look more holistically at topics such as biodiversity, ecosystems, health and wellbeing.

James Hutton Institute honorary scientist Geoff Squire says: “We know that building a sustainable future will need massive change across most sectors of land use and the rural economy and that change will be very difficult to achieve. This debate is essential and urgent”.

By going back to basics, analysing the evidence and discussing new ways of building bridges between different sectors, SEDA hopes the event will move the debate out of the silos of traditional entrenched positions and open up new ways of thinking about land use. One goal is to feed into the Scottish Government's programme of creating Regional Land Use Frameworks by 2023 - a coherent programme of land reform to maximise the potential of Scotland’s land in tackling climate change.

The speakers will include LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) CEO Caroline Drummond, social entrepreneur and former Greenpeace scientific director Jeremy Leggett, Glasgow University economist Prof Ronald MacDonald, NatureScot CEO Francesca Osowska, Director Crown Estate Scotland & Corrour Estate Hugh Raven as well as scientists from the James Hutton Institute; academics from all of Scotland’s top universities;
representatives from farming, forestry, renewable energy, tourism and landownership.

A number of carefully curated contributions from Scotland-based poets and musicians, intended to stimulate fresh ways of thinking, will be interspersed throughout the conversations. Musicians and artists who will participate include Hamish Napier, Pau de Planet, Su-a Lee, Chris Powici, Kirsty Law and The Poozies.

For more information contact Gail Halvorsen on 07956 247858 or David Seel on 07969 404396 or email: info@seda.uk.net. For full conference details visit the dedicated website.

The Pebble Trust is delighted to be contributing funding towards this important event.

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