More than ever, Green policies are needed and wanted here and now.

As we all emerge from the Covid pandemic, only to be faced with the looming climate crisis, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Greens in Government offer the power to enact long-overdue changes to tackle our greatest long-term problems.

Social inequality and the breakdown of our environment go hand in hand. To tackle both, we need effort on all levels of government and all levels of society. The people of this region deserve a more engaging local politics - to be listened to, empowered, and given the changes they want to see.

Green Councillors will work for policies which address the climate crisis and social inequality at the same time – planet and people - and increase the resilience of local communities.


We believe that the people of the Highlands need more opportunities for access to land. Many of the other changes which we set out in this manifesto can’t happen if people don’t have even small parcels of land/green space within 20 minutes of their homes. Lack of access to land is a fundamental problem which many of our greatest challenges stem from. Because of this, we align with the principles of Scotland’s land reform movement.

Green Councillors will:

  • Represent the Highlands in the wide-ranging consultation on land reform. We will contribute to and support the Land Reform Bill, due to be introduced by the end of 2023, specified in the Cooperation Agreement.

  • Contribute to the Regional Land Use Partnerships Pilot. The Scottish Government launched new pilot schemes being launched in some areas of Scotland. One of these regions is the Highland Council region, as well as the Cairngorms National Park.

  • Prioritise and support community ownership of land. The barriers against communities purchasing land have been exacerbated by the recent explosion in the property market.

  • Strengthen and support existing community right-to-buy processes.


The Cooperation Agreement has set ambitious woodland creation targets – 18,000 hectares per year by 2024/25. Much of this will be in the Highlands, being the region with most capacity to reach those targets. We want to see the Highlands as a beacon of reforesting, both for environmental restoration and sustainable economic activity. The benefits for the region, if done in the right way, could be huge and long-term.

There could be a wealth of green, sustainable jobs, proven carbon sequestration, improved biodiversity, and the opportunity for everyone in the Highlands to enjoy the physical and mental health advantages of easy access to high-quality forests and woodlands.

We must urgently consider ways to control the use of the Highlands for big business to plant trees to avoid having to do anything about its own carbon emissions. Carbon credits for rewilding must benefit local people, not just big landowners. The people working the land - as crofters, farmers, gamekeepers - have generations of experience and must help shape the future.

Green Councillors will work to;·

  • Support the expansion of woodland creation, while ensuring it benefits rather than excludes communities, and enriches biodiversity.

  • Champion the planting of diverse native tree species to increase resilience to disease and the effects of climate change.

  • Support forestry practices which create sustainable craft jobs, producing high quality pieces of work. Highland woodwork could be a mark of high quality.

  • Increase the number of publicly-owned forests and community woodlands. Priorities are access, nature restoration and protection, along with public health and mental health benefits.

  • Support the rollout of the National Register of Ancient Woodlands. Set out in the Cooperation Agreement, this will encourage owners and managers of ancient woodland to maintain them and improve their condition, providing support through the Forestry Grant Scheme.

  • People as part of nature: ”rewilding” where it brings people back into the landscape, not where it creates exclusive preserves for the wealthy.


We have recently felt the effects of a fragile food supply chain. We believe that the Highlands can and should be far more self-sustaining than it is. The Highlands is also well-placed to be a leader in quality sustainable produce, while integrating production with the upcoming Circular Economy.

Greens will:

  • Double the area of land under organic management. This is a Scotland-wide aim, which we will enact in the Highlands with guidance from the upcoming Organic Food and Farming Action Plan from the Cooperation Agreement.

  • Represent the Highlands’ interests in the 2023 Agriculture Bill. This is set out in the Cooperation Agreement to deliver a new support framework that will include delivering climate mitigation and adaptation, nature restoration and high quality food production; integration of enhanced conditionality against public benefits, with targeted outcomes for biodiversity gain and low emissions production; increased equality of opportunity, improving business resilience, efficiency and profitability.

  • Ensure procurement contracts require the provision of locally produced food where relevant.


Most land in the Highlands and Islands region is classed as marginal, fit only for rough grazing or improved grassland at best - despite its potential. The contribution from crofting to rural livelihoods and the local economy is undervalued. Crofts can contribute to carbon sequestration, environmental protection, production of high-quality food, population retention and the sustainability of local communities. But crofting faces many serious problems, which need to be rectified as quickly as possible.

Future crofting communities could be beacons of sustainability and innovation: growing local food for the local community; using renewable energy sources such as wind and sun to heat glasshouses to produce exotic commodities; growing fruit crops and trees; growing flax for linen manufacture; hemp for rope, plastic and medicine; producing wool for local industries; beekeeping; employing hundreds of people who would prefer a life in the country.

Green Councillors will work to:

  • Back the Scottish Crofting Federation in their lobbying for crofting law and grant scheme overhaul. There is a desperate need for acknowledgement and support for crofters diversifying their crofts, as well as to address the issues of vacant or misused crofts. Access to crofts must increase to meet demand of new entrants.

  • Encourage and help the community right to buy land to establish new croft holdings and townships.

  • Promote wool as a natural alternative to many artificial and plastic-based fibres

  • Link up wool producers with potential local users in the Circular Economy.