Community Land Scotland and INHERIT have published their Community Empowerment and Landscape research report. The report examines significant institutional and other barriers to enabling landscape policy to fully contribute to sustainable rural renewal in practice. These barriers relate to ways in which landscapes are defined, characterised and designated as a matter of public policy in Scotland. The report highlights a clear ‘participation gap’ in characterising and designating landscapes; one in which communities’ voices are, at best, marginal to that process. That matters because the application of an externally-imposed policy narrative appropriates the meanings attached to landscapes. Crucially, that policy narrative determines dominant ideas of ‘stewardship’ and ‘sustainability’, shaping how landscapes are experienced and consumed via a range of statutory and non-statutory designations.
A PDF copy of the report can be viewed here