Working paper on data/spatial analysis strategy and site selection (SRUC-E3-1/ C3-1 – D4.1)

S Gibson-Poole*, IS Sepulveda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper

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The SRUC-E3-1/C3-1 project aims to “increase understanding of the impacts of land-based public funding mechanisms on land values and related outcomes for landownership diversification and land use”. Financial support mechanisms (e.g. agricultural subsidies, grants to establish new woodland or the carbon credit market) can have a drastic effect on land prices, as witnessed in the rising prices in the land market in 2020-21 (McMorran, 2022a; 2022b). Natural capital payments can also influence decision-making around land uses, as some marginal upland farmland is currently being sold with the view of converting it to new woodland or to place wind farms on (Scottish Land Commission, 2019). It is important to uncover the underlying dynamics of how financial mechanisms can affect the cost of land, especially as the Scottish Government is currently trying to diversify the strong and historic pattern of landownership concentration through their land reform agenda.

To achieve the aim of the research, a mixed method approach involving qualitative and quantitative aspects has been adopted. This working paper will report on the initial stages of GIS mapping land sales and qualities of the land that has been transacted.

The project is made up of multiple work packages (WP), of which WP4 is investigating and mapping the spatial data available to enable an understanding of land transactions that are occurring within Scotland and the spatial scale of those areas. This is not a straightforward task as data is not standardised, resides in different Organisations/Institutions, is of differing qualities and is often only available if purchased. There are also varying degrees of lag in the data, as sales data need adding to the Registry of Scotland (RoS) manually by the selling agent. A lack of a clear and standardised database invokes issues around landownership transparency and other indirect effects.

In addition, we need to consider what other data sources could be used to give further context to the reasons that might have influenced the transactions.

This paper therefore sets out a methodological framework and data strategy we have designed to help us answer the specific aims, whilst dealing with imperfect data and various issues with the data sources mentioned above. The process occurs over two stages, each of which is presented in Section 2 and 3 of this report.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSRUC's Rural Policy Centre
Number of pages21
Publication statusPrint publication - 8 Dec 2022

Rural Policy Centre Themes

  • Land use and land reform


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