The Scottish Government’s land reform bill came under fire during an event at the Royal Highland Show.

The Bill was introduced with an aim to tackle concentrated patterns of landownership and improve accountability of landowners.

It includes measures that will apply to large landholdings of over 1000 hectares, prohibiting sales in certain cases until ministers can consider the impact on the local community.

The Bill also contains provisions to strengthen the position of tenant farmers on both traditional secure leases and the modern fixed-term leases.

Land campaigner and former MSP Andy Wightman, one of the panellists, went as far as saying ministers should 'rip it up and start again' based on his concerns over right to buy and lotting provisions.

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Meanwhile Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive of landowner membership organisation Scottish Land and Estates (SLE), said the paper has 'gone from talking about land reform in terms of delivering benefits for Scotland, in terms of Net Zero, to a Bill that is focused on community ownership and fragmentation of ownership'.

Mr Wightman said the government paper’s threshold of any land below three hectares not being entitled to agriculture support is 'ridiculous' given its scope for growing food.

“We really need to get away from this idea that bigger is better", he said.

“We need to rip it up and start again.”

Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said she believes the Scottish Government has introduced an ambitious Bill to broaden ownership of Scotland’s land.

“It will empower communities with more opportunities to own land and require those who own large amounts of land to show how they use their land, how that contributes to key public policy priorities and engage with local communities about how they use the land,” she said.

“The Agriculture and Rural Communities Bill was unanimously supported in Parliament this week. The Bill explicitly covers support for small producers and we are working with them and their representatives on how best to implement the powers for their benefit.”

The minister said the Scottish Government will continue to consider further views and evidence on the Land Reform Bill as it proceeds through Parliament