How community activists hope to buyout the village of Wanlockhead 


CommonSpace speak to Lincoln Richford about how his village can own its land

HISTORIAN JIM HUNTER calls it a “revolution”. Across Scotland over half a million acres of land is now owned by the community that lives there. Mostly confined to the Highlands and Islands, the movement for community land ownership is now spreading across the rest of the country. 

Wanlockhead could become a key test case for the south of Scotland. For months, villagers have prepared a campaign to buy their land from the country’s largest private landowner – the Duke of Buccleuch.

Talks are ongoing between the community’s development trust and the landowner’s estate. But whatever the conclusion, the trust will put forward an official community buyout next year.

CommonSpace spoke to Lincoln Richford, from the Wanlockhead Community Trust, about the plans for a buyout and his hopes for why owning the land can make life better in the community.

Richford was speaking at the Radical Independence Conference in Glasgow as part of a discussing ‘Advancing Scotland’s Land Revolution’, which also conferred issues of high rents, and derelict urban land. 

Read more: Village Trust in talks to buy land from Duke of Buccleuch

Sarah Beattie-Smith: Unlocking the power in our communities over their land

Picture courtesy of Gary McNair

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