"our history tells us that if you separate people from the land they suffer disadvantage, generation after generation, but if you can keep people connected to the land, or reconnected once lost, then you offer them advantage down the future generations."
Welcome to the Island of Eigg.
A small Island of the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, with a history of absentee landlords.
On several occasions, the Island was sold without the prior knowledge or consent from Island residences, with many facing threats of eviction.
In 1997, the Isle of Eigg made history.
Island residences decided to take matters into their own hands, and purchased the island in partnership with the Highland Council and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
A music journalist living in London, decided it was time to swap her busy London life in order to reconnect to her childhood land and community life.
She came back to take over her uncles farm of sheep and cows.
"The island trust realised that the key to having families settle here was if they had a sense of ownership, and devised a shared equity scheme called the Eigg rule"
"It was a very beautiful place to grow up. As an adult I always thought I would move back here. "
The Eigg rule
A shared equity scheme where you can apply to the Island's trust for ¼ acre plot of land for free and use any money you have to build property.
Heritage Trust Secretary and Resident of Eigg for 18 years
"when we started making houses available, giving people [land] security...there was a shift in the way people started thinking about Eigg. Suddenly they started realising they could make a future here..."
"The partnership to buy-out the Island between the residences, the highland council and the Scottish wildlife trust has worked really well. We have council input, environmental input but most important of all we got the input of people who live here."
Scottish Land Reform
Scotland has a 200 year old legacy of land grabs that continues to shape contemporary life; where only 432 people control half of all privately owned land.
Leading the charge with progressive reform on community land rights, the Scottish Parliament has passed new legislation to address the power imbalance and create a fairer society between the handful of landowners and Scotland's people and communities.
ILC Member, Community Land Scotland has played a pivotal role in promoting changes to legislation and empowering communities to secure their land rights.
This story is part of the Land Rights Now campaign in solidarity with the struggles of Indigenous Peoples and local communities seeking to secure their land rights.