Andy Wightman

Andy Wightman
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Lothian
Assumed office
5 May 2016
Personal details
Born Dundee
Nationality Scottish
Political party Scottish Green Party
Residence Edinburgh, Scotland
Alma mater University of Aberdeen
Occupation MSP, Writer, political activist

Andrew Dearg Wightman is a Scottish Green Party Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Lothian region and a writer and researcher best known for his work on land ownership in Scotland. He is the author of "Who Owns Scotland" and "The Poor Had No Lawyers".


He was born in Dundee and graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 1985 with a degree in forestry.[1][2] He was a co-founder of Reforesting Scotland, a group dedicated to substantial reforestation.[3]

He began his career as a scientist working on renewable energy at the University of Aberdeen and then as a Projects Officer with Central Scotland Countryside Trust. He became a self-employed writer and researcher in 1993. Over the next 20 years, he contributed to a wide range of debates on land use, land reform, the Crown estate, common good land, local democracy and fiscal reform. Author of a number of reports on these topics, he also served as a Specialist Adviser to the UK Parliament's Scottish Affairs Committee Inquiry on land reform 2014–2015.

He appeared in the documentary You've Been Trumped, which dealt with Donald Trump's controversial golf course development at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire where he advised Michael Forbes on his land dispute with Trump.[4]

He was coordinator of the Land Action Scotland campaign. The campaign has the stated aim of supporting local residents though seeking to democratise companies that are run by a handful of people who are not living on the land involved.[5][6]

In February 2015, Wightman was announced as being a member of the Commission on Local Tax Reform.[7] This cross-party group was set up by the Scottish Government, tasked with examining alternatives to the Council Tax. The final report Just Change: A New Approach to Local Taxation was published on 14 December 2015.

Political career

Wightman is a member of the Scottish Green Party. In March 2015, the Scottish Greens balloted their members to select candidates for the 2016 election, with Wightman was placed second on their Lothian list.[8] He was elected as an MSP on 5 May 2016.[9]

Published work


  1. Wightman, Andy (February 2012). "Forest Ownership in Scotland: A Scoping Study" (PDF). Forest Policy Group. p. 4. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  2. "Author biography: Andy Wightman". Birlinn. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  3. Wightman, Andy (16 January 2011). "We can transform our countryside. Put forests in the hands of the people". The Observer. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  5. "Community bids for Applecross and Mount Stuart trusts". BBC News. BBC. 28 September 2012.
  6. "Charles Kennedy criticises Applecross Trust decision". BBC News. BBC. 14 November 2012.
  7. "Commission on Local Tax Reform" (Press release). Scottish Government. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  8. "Scottish Greens regional list candidates". Holyrood. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  9. "Land reform expert Andy Wightman elected as Green MSP". Edinburgh Evening News. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  10. "Who owns Scotland. Edinburgh : Canongate, 1996". WorldCat. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  11. Arlidge, John (25 February 1996). "Who owns Scotland?". The Independent. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  12. "The poor had no lawyers: who owns Scotland and (how they got it). Edinburgh : Birlinn, 2010.". WorldCat. Retrieved 22 February 2015.

External links

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