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Major study will assess impact of natural capital on Scottish land market

The final report from the study is due in spring 2022.

The impact of natural capital and carbon values on Scotland’s land market is the subject of a major new study.

The research, commissioned by the Scottish Land Commission, will be carried out by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in partnership with land agents Savills and Strutt and Parker, and with support from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Land agents across Scotland will be asked to share data on recent land transactions in rural Scotland, including off-market sales, as well as information on market trends and drivers.

The Scottish Land Commission said the study aims to create an “over-arching summary” of current land market activity, with a focus on understanding the role natural capital is having on the market.

Hamish Trench, chief executive of the Scottish Land Commission.

“Global efforts to tackle climate change are driving demand for carbon and natural capital investment and there is growing concern about the impacts of this in the land market,” said Scottish Land Commission chief executive, Hamish Trench.

“Improved market transparency will help inform evidence-based policy and help address the risks and opportunities.”

RICS public affairs lead for Scotland, Euan Ryan, said a clear understanding of the role of natural capital in the land market would be crucial in creating an effective land-based policy.

He said: “For this reason, we strongly encourage land agents and other relevant parties to participate in this important research, and look forward to supporting the project as it progresses.”

SRUC researcher Rob McMorran, who is leading the study, said: “This research represents an important opportunity to develop a comprehensive assessment of rural land market activity in Scotland, as well as providing useful evidence to inform our understanding of how natural capital investment may be affecting rural land markets and land values.

“The research will also provide a useful foundation for informing future research on rural land values and land markets.”

The final report from the study will be published in spring 2022.

Caution urged when trading carbon credits

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