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Water abstraction, Scottish land ownership, seaweed on beaches and scrubland for tree sparrows

A report from the Scottish Land Commission finds land ownership in Scotland has been 'abused' and there is an 'urgent need' for mechanisms to protect fragile communities.

Farmers are concerned that the Environment Agency may be given new powers to revoke the licenses they need to abstract water in order to grow crops. We hear from the NFU, which says the plans could mean farmers have licenses removed with little warning and without compensation, to protect wildlife. Meanwhile, conservationists say water is a finite resource which needs to be shared.

A report from the Scottish Land Commission finds land ownership in Scotland has been "abused" and there is an "urgent need" for mechanisms to protect fragile communities from the "irresponsible exercise of power". But Scottish Land & Estates - which represents landowners - says the report focuses too much on land ownership rather than land use, and also fails to adequately reflect the contribution made by rural businesses.

We take a trip to the seaside to hear why a naturalist from Dorset is calling on landowners and councils to stop clearing beaches of seaweed and natural debris.

And as part of our week about woodlands, we hear about new scrubland transforming a chalk down in Wiltshire and providing a lifeline for tree sparrows.

Presented by Anna Hill
Produced by Heather Simons

14 minutes

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