Myland.scot to engage public on how land has an effect on everyday life in Scotland
Today, the Scottish Land Commission is delighted to announce the launch of its new campaign, centred around a brand-new content hub, MyLand.scot, which aims to connect people to the land around them, using inspiring stories to show how Scotland’s land is owned, used and managed impacts you and the lives of those around you.
MyLand.scot will connect the public with land and how it has an effect on everyday life, from how it impacts work and employment, to empowering communities, to how it can affect house prices within Scotland, and much more. The campaign aims to inspire Scottish residents – particularly those in urban Scotland – to participate in land-related conversations, ensuring land is used fairly and productively. Launching today, MyLand.scot is also a place where residents within Scotland can find relevant information and resources.
Hamish Trench, Chief Executive of the Scottish Land Commission, said:
“The way we own and use land influences many parts of our everyday lives. From the price and availability of housing, access to greenspace, the effects of derelict sites in the heart of our communities, our ability to take climate action to giving people the means and confidence to build businesses and communities. ‘MyLand’ shines a light on communities taking an interest in the land around them so that it benefits everybody. We hope that these stories inspire people to have a look at the land around them and stir interest to take action. Helping to create a Scotland where everybody benefits from the ownership, management and use of the nation’s land.”
The Scottish Land Commission works to create a Scotland where everybody can benefit from the ownership and use of the nation’s land and buildings. The Scottish Land Commission is driving a programme of land reform spanning both urban and rural land, ensuring land is owned and used in a fair, responsible, and productive way.
As a conversation starter, land is probably not first on the list. It is often seen as something ‘out there’ that you visit, rather than something that impacts everybody everyday no matter where you live. However, MyLand’s new campaign aims to change that, highlighting various local stories of people coming together to use land to benefit the community and help to combat social inequalities, loneliness, and lack of facilities, to name a few, in the hope that these stories will inspire more of us to follow suit, get involved with land and take action in our local communities. The Scottish Land Commission is working hard to get people to start thinking about the land around them, how they value it, what it is used for and how that land can be used for the greater good.
Take After the Pandemic, as an example – an organisation using creativity and community to solve challenges brought on by COVID-19, the climate emergency and more. For COP26, After the Pandemic is repurposing derelict land in the centre of Glasgow to challenge how we interact with our cities, environment and ultimately each other when we come out the other side of the global pandemic by turning 3,000 square metres into a cultural park during the upcoming COP26 conference. The land, located directly under the M8 in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre, will be used as an outdoor exhibition space featuring dozens of organisations, also playing host to a variety of live performances and interactive sessions, fuelling increased public engagement and conversations about how land is – and, more importantly, could be – used.
Anne Johnstone, After the Pandemic Project Manager, writes:
“The MyLand campaign will provide a wonderful central hub of rich stories which I believe will help raise awareness of how land use can affect us all. It was important for the After the Pandemic project to make use of derelict land to show the opportunity that is there for land use to contribute positively to climate change. Derelict land in urban areas creates a sense of disconnect for communities. For us, having this huge space in the heart of the city centre become part of Glasgow's fabric is vital – at present derelict land is part of a problem, but in future it can offer a solution, and we hope to engage people in these conversations around how land is used.”
Meanwhile in Edinburgh, Bellfield Church in Portobello is another hallmark of success for community initiatives and making the most of Scotland’s land. When the Church of Scotland decided to sell Portobello Old Parish Church, the residents came together to save this important building and keep it in the community by taking advantage of the Scottish Government’s Community Right to Buy Scheme – the first time this was used in an urban area. More recently, residents of Portobello have taken additional land into the hands of the community, as the City of Edinburgh Council accepted a proposal for the community management of its local town hall.
Portobello Central, who has taken management of the land, say they will set up a charity with a community membership who will work with Bellfield to ensure that Portobello and surrounding areas have the widest possible range of activities and services for locals.
Jennifer Elliot, Treasurer at Action Porty, writes:
“I am delighted to support the new MyLand campaign. The way that land is used and owned in local areas is vital to the vibrancy and culture of the community. I am lucky enough to have been involved in both the Bellfield buy out by Action Porty and in the Porty Central negotiations to bring Portobello town hall under community management and ownership. I know the way in which taking an active interest in the land around us can empower communities to take action, and the benefits to Portobello have been astonishing. The MyLand.scot content hub will inspire people in towns, villages and cities across Scotland to look closer at the land around them and see the potential for uses that benefit communities as it has done in Portobello.”
As part of the campaign, the Scottish Land Commission will be launching a brand-new podcast, The Lay of the Land, hosted by filmmaker and broadcaster Calum Maclean. Calum Maclean is best known for his work on BBC’s ‘The Social’ and BBC Alba series ‘Dhan Uisge’, which shared some of Scotland’s hidden outdoor swimming spots.
This new podcast aims to explore what land means to the people of Scotland: from the way it is used and owned and how those decisions are made, to the reuse of derelict sites and the wonderful transformations that have happened in communities across Scotland. Through discussion with a variety of guests, the podcast will explore how we can become more involved with the land around us and how being more engaged in the conversation can bring significant benefits to our lives and our local communities.
Access myland.scot today to discover how to take an interest in the land around you, the opportunities available and where to find the correct information and resources.
Join the conversation on social media with #MyLandScotland
Visit MyLand.scot media room here
Listen to The Lay of the Land Podcast here
Follow MyLand for all latest updates on the campaign