Responding to the announcement that the Scottish Government is to consult on land reform,
A Spokesman for The Scottish Gamekeepers Association said: “The Scottish Gamekeepers Association will be making a detailed submission to the consultation and will also be seeking a meeting with the First Minister due to our concerns for rural employment for working people and their families.
We feel very strongly that creating a fairer or more socially just country does not mean taking away lifeline rural employment which is a very real danger if the drive to change ownership patterns turns into discouragement of inward investment.
If present owners decide conditions in Scotland are no longer favourable, and take their investments elsewhere, the gamekeepers’ jobs go, the ghillie, the boatman, the tractor man, the forester, the various contractors, the estate staff and so on, not to mention the affect on businesses and the fabric of the community. That is not easy employment to replace in a small rural area which may not have the advantage of scale.
Of course, we believe those who manage land should do so in the public interest and we believe the well managed estates in Scotland will be able to quantify this very well.
However, greater transparency has to work both ways and we hope public bodies and large land owning charities tasked with similar public interest responsibilities are placed under the same scrutiny as private owners.”