Sustainable upland estate management in Scotland

The Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century project was funded by the Henry Angest Foundation.

Further work on the project has also been supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, Scottish Government and Scottish Land and Estates:

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Sustainable Upland Estate Management

The Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century project was carried out at the Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands, between 2007 and 2012. The work included four projects funded by the Henry Angest Foundation.  This website gives more information about the project.   

Detailed results of the whole project can be found in 'Lairds, Land and Sustainability: Scottish perspectives on upland management' (Edinburgh University Press, 2013).

A short booklet about 'Working Together for Sustainable Estate Communities' is also available for download from this site. If you would like a printed copy, please e-mail

The overall aim of the project was to align upland estate management in Scotland with the concept of sustainability.

This was in recognition of the fact that there has been little academic and policy attention paid to how different ownership types and management objectives relate to the principles of sustainability.  Past work on estates has focused on individual estates or particular sectors, and little has been done since the Land Reform (Scotland) Act in 2003.  To ensure the on-the-ground relevance of the research, an Advisory Group helped to design the project and met with the researchers once a year.  The five group members represented key stakeholder groups (Scottish Land and EstatesCairngorms National Park AuthorityKnoydart FoundationScottish Environment LINK) and the Scottish Government.

The research findings will be increasingly relevant in the context of the rapidly evolving rural policy context in Scotland, for example with the implementation of the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP), the development and implementation of the Land Use Strategy, and wider debates about CAP reform.