Modern farming bears little relation to the practices used by our predecessors 100 or 200 years ago, but much of the legislation relating to small landholdings and tenant farming dates back many decades.

The Land Reform (Scotland) Bill introduced to Parliament last week is our chance to update that and reflect on the lives and challenges that farmers and land managers face today.

Scotland is globally renowned for our produce and farmers and land managers are absolutely vital to that. They are also pivotal in delivering on our climate change ambitions, for protecting and restoring nature.

We need our land reform legislation to reflect the work they do today, and not be hampered by outdated laws and notions of farming.

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Our Bill sets out ambitious proposals to allow the benefits and opportunities of Scotland’s land to be more widely shared.

It delivers on Scottish Government commitments to further improve transparency of land ownership, help ensure large scale land holdings deliver in the public interest, and empower communities by providing more opportunities to own land and have more say in how land in their area is used.

The Bill was developed from evidence and analysis from the Scottish Land Commission, and puts forward three key land reform measures

The first will prohibit certain sales of over 1,000 hectares, until Ministers can consider the proposed sale. All land in Scotland should contribute to a modern, sustainable and successful country.

It is key to ensuring that rural and island communities are thrive, to giving people places to live and work, and providing the essential infrastructure that people need, to help us keep people on the land.

Our Bill takes steps to better ensure that landholdings in scope are bought and sold, owned and used in ways that meet the national interest and take account of local need.

The second major reform will allow people to get advance warning in certain cases when all or part of a landholding over 1000 hectares is going to be put up for sale.

Too often, people and communities feel powerless when the land they live on is sold with no prior warning – this Bill will help to change that.

And the third will require owners of very large landholdings to produce land management plans and engage with local communities.

The Bill has measures to give tenant farmers more opportunities to deliver improvements to the land they farm, to become more sustainable and productive in their farming and be rewarded for their investment of time and resources.

We want to use this legislation to ensure that tenant farmers are treated fairly during their tenancies and when they leave their tenancies.

We also want to ensure that these reforms help give tenant farmers and small landholders are given greater opportunity to access funding including the new rural support framework.

We are committed to ensuring that the future four tier framework is able to work for all types of land tenure.

This Bill will ensure that the benefits of land ownership, and decisions about how it is owned, managed and used, are more widely shared. The proposals build on, and complement, existing legislation.