Stuff we've discussed on IRC.
Posted by ats at 2014-05-24 19:50
A comprehensive report from a group that's been looking at potential improvements to Scottish law regarding land ownership and use.
This includes some striking statistics.
For example, the Scottish government(s) have had a register of title deeds to land since 1617 -- one of the first countries to do so.
However, as of 2012, the register covers a grand total of 23% of Scotland. They don't really know who owns the rest of it...
... and in many cases, the answer is "it's complicated".
The right to mine silver and gold in Scotland is still partly governed by an act drawn up in 1424. (It was revised in 1592.)
9,000 km of foreshore (land on the shoreline covered at high tide) is controlled by the Crown Estate Commissioners who aren't responsible to the Scottish government at all.
(Why's foreshore important? Ferry services. Bridge piers. Telecom cables. Probably the kind of thing you'd like the local authority to look after.)
The CEC also has rights to mussels, oysters and salmon.
The right to "large whales" has, however, been devolved to the Scottish government. Who aren't really very interested in it.
In addition, the CEC managed to reserve the rights to mine coal under Brechin Cathedral Round Tower, despite (a) not having ever had the right to do that and (b) WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT.