A Code of Practice for Responsible Land Management for the Private Sector
Prepared by the Scottish Landowners Federation - June 2000
The Code of Practice for Responsible Land Management supports the first object
of the Scottish Landowners Federation (SLF) which is:
" to promote high standards of management and use of land."
Against a background of varying land qualities, sizes of property and diversity of
management objectives a single, rigid, standard of land management would be
inflexible and unworkable. Multiple standards would only serve to confuse.
Land is owned and managed for a variety of reasons:
|as an investment;|
|as a resource for agriculture, forestry or sporting;|
|for conservation management;|
|or part of a residential property.|
The background to any of these is an expectation that owners and managers will, whilst
taking into account public interest in their activities, nevertheless be able to pursue
their management and business objectives. In recognition of this, the Code of Practice
is drawn widely but sets down clear principles. The Code is attainable and is something to
which all landowners and managers can aspire, regardless of individual circumstances.
Compliance with the Code will increase the quality of land management and raise public
confidence in the stewardship of the countryside.
The Code should be seen as complimentary to the range of existing Codes of Practice,
statutory or otherwise, which apply to land management activities. Owners, managers or
businesses associated with any land holding will recognise the elements of this Code,
which apply to their circumstances and responsibilities.
|Acceptance that there are responsibilities associated with the ownership and management
|Acknowledgement of the need for funding or income generated from land management
enterprises to cover the full costs of sound management.|
|Recognition of community needs and public interest in how land is managed.|
|Proper regard for Nature and natures processes.|
The Management of Land
Management objectives should be integrated and include sustainability, stewardship,
biodiversity, commitment and continuity.
|The owner and manager of a property should be known and accessible.|
|Integrity and observance of the law should underpin all management and practice.|
|Owners and managers should be prepared to undergo relevant training and be willing to
seek advice where they do not possess the requisite skills and knowledge.|
|The potential impact of land management decisions on neighbouring properties and
communities should always be taken into account.|
|Opportunities to co-operate with neighbours, Local Authorities and Government Agencies
should be explored.|
The Land-owning Business
|All businesses should have long-term objectives and plans, which are regularly reviewed.|
|Good property management should involve continuing investment from earnings, or
elsewhere, to maintain the condition of the assets and enable proper business development.|
|For stability, income should ideally come from a range of activities without excessive
reliance on any one output or income source.|
|Attention should be given to unused and under-performing assets and how these might be
|Good practice should be followed in all aspects of the business, including employment
|Employment strategies should, when beneficial and justifiable, favour local people and
should provide training and career progression.|
|Best use should be made of local skills, tradesmen and suppliers whenever possible.|
|Tenants should be viewed as partners, kept regularly informed and have their
|Landowners should be aware of significant flora and fauna on their properties, of
landscape qualities and of architectural and archaeological features.|
|Land managers should integrate the conservation and enhancement of local wildlife,
heritage and culture with commercial objectives.|
|Public access, exercised with responsibility and with consideration for land management
and nature conservation, should be welcomed. Well-planned and organised access facilities
should be integrated with farm and estate activities.|
|Opportunities should be taken to widen understanding of land management and the
countryside, including the economic, social and environmental aspects of rural land use.|
Those responsible for management of rural property should play an active and positive
role in the local community.
The interests of the local community should be a consideration in land management, and
significant changes in land use and rural development proposals should be discussed, as
appropriate, with local people.
Land owners should, where possible, initiate or support ventures with individuals and
community groups, and should be willing to consider how land might be made available for
projects which would deliver benefit to the local community.
The Scottish Landowners Federation can be contacted at:
Tel: 0131 653 5400 Fax: 0131 653 5401 E-mail: email@example.com