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Land Ownership by Charities and Private Trusts

The third and fourth Land Rights and Responsibilities Protocols in our Good Practice Programme, ‘Land Ownership by Charities’ and ‘Land Ownership by Private Trusts,’ set out practical expectations for private trusts and charities owning land in Scotland.

While much good practice already exists, the Commission believes that landowning trusts and charities could further improve their transparency, accountability and governance. 

Private trusts and charities own significant areas of Scotland’s land. These protocols will help improve understanding and transparency about the way trusts and charities operate as land owners.

We are encouraging trusts and charities to consider how Scotland’s land rights and responsibilities principles are reflected in their governance structures, including, for example, the selection of trustees and their engagement processes. We will provide advice to Trusts, Trustees and communities where appropriate to encourage good practice.

We are also keen to hear about positive examples of good working relationships and welcomes information about successful collaboration between Trusts, charities and local communities that can inform case studies to help others.

We have created a list of Frequently Asked Questions to support land owners who are charities and trusts and their trustees in providing information about the ownership and use of land detailing who owns the land, their plans for it, and how communities can get in touch with them.