Scotland’s deputy first minister, Shona Robison, visited an upland estate in the Angus Glens to explore the benefits for people, jobs and nature from Scotland’s rural estates.
During her visit to Rottal Estate in the Angus Glens today (Monday, November 6), which are owned and managed by Dee Ward, Robison was told that Scotland’s rural estates are contributing to the wellbeing economy.
Speaking after her visit, Robison said: “In April this year, the Scottish government committed to publishing a plan by 2026 setting out how we are delivering for rural and island communities.
“The Rural Delivery Plan will detail actions being taken to help rural communities, with a renewed focus on delivery and an acknowledgment that issues affecting rural Scotland relate to every area of government work.
“We expect it to cover a range of priority areas including agriculture, land reform, housing, repopulation, and economic development.
“Stakeholder engagement will be crucial as the plan is being developed. As one of the joint chairs of the Ministerial Working Group driving forward this work, visits like this, and hearing directly from partners, is highly informative.”
Robison said the visits are also a great opportunity to recognise the “contribution of rural estates to our wellbeing economy, net zero and biodiversity ambitions”.
Estate owner and chair of Scottish Land & Estates, Dee Ward, said: “We’re deeply invested in doing our bit for climate and nature – through restoring degraded peatland on the estate, to planting native trees, restoring the Rottal Burn to its natural meander and restoring wetlands.
“Rottal is just one example – there are estates right across Scotland delivering for communities, and helping the government meet its own targets.
“I think that too often, estates and rural businesses feel like the government doesn’t fully understand them and doesn’t always make things easy.
“So we’re particularly grateful to the Deputy First Minister for coming out today to see things for herself, and for listening. Our message to the government is: work with us to help us do more for people, jobs and nature.”