moral problem
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The Land Problem - Public Questions, Religion and Morals Report

Free Church of Scotland, 1997

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In this abstract from the Church's 1997 Public Questions, Religion and Morals Report a case is made that there is still a 'land problem' in Scotland. It arises partly because of misguided attempts at securing employment, forestry and agricultural productivity during the last 50-years in the remoter parts, but principally because of the landholding structure which has prevailed there for many generations.

While the solution to the problem has taxed many wise heads in the past, it would seem that the basic difficulty lies not in identifying the remedy but in summoning up the political will to carry it through. A Biblical perspective would suggest that rural land should cease to be treated as a commodity and should be regarded as a trust, placing upon the landholders an obligation to realise its potential - in every sense, whether environmental, human or economic.

The paper concludes by the Church calling upon the Government to seek remedies by way of widening land ownership, promoting good stewardship, and devolving responsibility for local land management policy to local communities.