Reforesting Scotland’s ‘Thousand Huts’ campaign was backed in Holyrood in mid June by a motion lodged by Green MSP Alison Johnstone.
The party believes that the campaign to boost ownership and use of huts across Scotland could bring substantial benefits to health and wellbeing, and also supports the campaign’s call for barriers to the development of huts to be removed. Although Scottish Ministers commissioned research on the subject in 2000, no significant action to support hutting has since been taken.
Alison Johnstone MSP said: “Many Scots have a soft spot in their hearts for their family’s huts, whether at Carbeth or Carnoustie, but many more know next to nothing about this long-standing Scottish tradition.

Campaign ‘A Good Start’
“Huts and summer houses are commonplace across Europe, especially Scandinavia, and the benefits for people’s physical and mental wellbeing are well understood there. Unlike second homes, huts aren’t the preserve of the better-off, nor do they destabilise local economies. Huts are social, they’re low-tech, and they get people out and about and in closer contact with nature.alt
“There’s a lot that Scottish Ministers can do to promote hutting, including supporting existing hut owners and removing unnecessary obstacles in planning law. They could even identify suitable land they own on our behalf and make it available to people who want to build huts.
“The campaign launched by Reforesting Scotland calls for a thousand huts. That would be a good start, no more.”

Broad, Positive Response
Ninian Stuart, Director of Reforesting Scotland, said: “Reforesting Scotland have been overwhelmed by the early response to our campaign from all sections of Scottish society. The interest so far from heritage bodies, land reformers, landowners, craftsmen and those living in disadvantaged areas, who simply want a low cost hut of their own, shows that this initiative could really be a win-win for all Scots - as well as a great way of reconnecting people to the land and reviving forest culture.”
Lesley Riddoch, journalist and research student, said: “There has been resistance to cabins and huts in the Scottish landscape for centuries from some landowners. That resistance has now generated indifference and even hostility to nature amongst many urban Scots. Is it a coincidence that Scots have the lowest rate of hut ownership in Europe and the highest rates of problem drinking? How else can urban Scots “escape” the pressures of modern urban life?”

Outlook Change
She continued: “Across the world at our latitude, from the dachas of Russia to the log cabins of Canada, having a hut is normal - everywhere except Scotland. Forests in Scotland don’t need to be sterile, empty places. The Forestry Commission of Scotland could revolutionise the family lives and health outcomes of this nation by offering small plots for rent or sale. All that’s needed is a change of outlook.”
See also:  and the report ‘Huts and Hutters In Scotland, 2000’:

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