New book launched on community ownership of land

March 20, 2012

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‘From the Low Tide of the Sea to the Highest Mountain Tops’ is written by James Hunter, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of the Highlands and Islands, and is published by the Island Book Trust. The Carnegie UK Trust commissioned Professor Hunter to carry out the research on which the book is based, and commissioned the photographer Cailean MacLean to produce a series of pictures to illustrate the publication.

‘From the Low Tide…’ tells the remarkable story of how more than 500,000 acres of land in Scotland have been taken into community ownership over the past 20 years. In their joint Foreword to the book CUKT Chair Melanie Leech and Chief Executive Martyn Evans write:

"The idea of local communities taking control of their own land and assets should no longer be considered remarkable. It is becoming a normal way of doing things. Rural community land ownership has a mirror in the longer established community based housing associations and housing co-operatives of urban Scotland."

"Yet there remains a sense of unease amongst some about trusting local people and their communities. One of the main purposes of this book is to recall the truly extraordinary individials who have been responsible for showing that a community can seize control of its own destiny and transform it in a way few could have imagined."

"In many ways this is a story which is only just beginning. Community land and asset ownership will become the story of the 21st century and Scotland’s people – and politicians – deserve a reputation of pioneers and successful pathfinders in this hugely rewarding adventure."

Copies of the book are available to buy from the Island Book Trust. A reception to support the launch of the book will be held at the Scottish Parliament in April.