27 March 2022, UK: Researchers from the James Hutton Institute are calling on community landowners from across Scotland to help them develop a greater understanding of the agricultural activity carried out on their land. The research also explores perceptions of agriculture, and as such is open to all Community Landowners, whether or not they have agricultural activity on their land.
A survey has been produced to document the characteristics of agricultural activity carried out on community owned or rented land and explore the barriers and opportunities for agricultural transitions with community landowners.
The survey should be completed by someone who represents their community body and should only take up to 15 minutes. For the purposes of the survey, agricultural activity is defined broadly and includes food production on a range of different scales from non-commercial allotments & community gardens to commercial farming businesses and crofting. It can also include other land management practices such as woodland management and habitat management.
Rosalind Corbett, a PhD student at the James Hutton Institute’s Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences department said: “Our agricultural systems in Scotland are in a period of flux. This is a key time to understand the perspectives of community landowners about current agricultural systems and what role community landowners could play in agricultural and wider land-use transitions.”
Research outcomes may involve working directly with community landowners to develop agricultural transition projects, as well as wider policy recommendations and research developments.
The survey will use Qualtrics survey software, which ensures secure data collection and storage. The data provided will be analysed and may be used in publications, dissertations, reports or presentations derived from the research project, this will be presented in such a way that identities are not disclosed. If direct quotes are used, approval will be sought.