In my forthcoming book, The Poor had no Lawyers, I tell the story of the unlawful alienation of the Hill of Alyth commonty. I will shortly be preparing a full legal analysis of the case. In short, land was sold by people who did not own it and the new Land Register (which states that Scottish Ministers own the commonty) reveals a conflict between the land registration process and the laws of prescription on the one hand and the laws governing the division of commonties on the other. Excellent coverage of the latest situation in the Courier here and here. This story will run and run. And there are more example of this kind of land theft which I will be revealing details of in the next month. One of the conclusions in my book is that we need a Land Restitution Act to recover stolen commons.

1 Comment

  1. Andy
    Full clarification on Alyth Hill would be welcomed as I feel the 2 Courier articles you refer to and the plaque shown in the above picture is wrong. There is obvious confusion by some people over the rights of the fuers of Alyth hill – those people that have a right as stated in their property deeds to take fuel off the hill and graze animals between dawn and dusk -, and those people that have a joint ownership of the commonty. The list of owners of the commonty is unknown, but I feel sure it is not the people of Alyth (as this definition includes all folk living in the town, even on land that was part of the south commonty at one time). It will most likely be a small discrete list of the farms and land owners that surrounded Alyth Hill at the time it became a commonty so that they could share the grazing and have joint responsibility for maintaining the land. However I am willing to be corrected!