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The New Lairds - Scotland's Land Reformers

The New Lairds - Scotland's Land Reformers

by Max Baring

EDINBURGH, Oct 25 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When the residents of Garbh Allt in the Scottish Highlands were offered the chance to buy their land from the wealthy family behind the brutal eviction of their ancestors, many were initially hesitant.

But years of underdevelopment under the Sutherland Estate - one of Scotland's biggest landowners - and the prospect of shaping their own future convinced them to take the leap, and in June the land was sold into community ownership.

"People were saying, oh I'm not really sure if we should take it on or not. And I was thinking to myself, my father would be spinning in his grave if we didn't take up this opportunity," said Anne Fraser, head of the Garbh Allt community initiative.

"I had to pinch myself the other day to actually remember we're in ownership," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "It gives me great delight when I'm walking along and suddenly think, oh, this belongs to us. It's quite something."

Read the story here