Comparing land quality and land use in South West Norway and Scotland
Dr. Duncan Halley, Research Ecologist, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research – NINA
Sponsored by Rob Gibson MSP
Scottish Parliament December 1st 6pm
South West Norway and Highland Scotland are closely similar in climate, geology and landforms; but very different in land cover, human population and land use. SW Norway is rapidly reforesting but Scotland is not. Rural areas are more heavily populated. Is that because southwest Norway is so very different in the basic conditions of life – or because land use history differs profoundly on either side of the North Sea?
Duncan Halley (a Scot who has lived and worked in Norway for 20 years) describes how moorland in Norway has transformed to farmland and woodland and makes comparisons with land in the Scottish Highlands. His observations are timely. The Land Reform Bill is continuing its progress through the Scottish Parliament amidst assertions that much of the land in the Scottish Highlands and Borders is fit only for use by sporting estates.
Could the appearance and productivity of Scottish land more closely resemble its Nordic cousin if land use here was changed?
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