Protect your land and estate with voluntary registration

Protect your land and estate with voluntary registration

By Marcus Humphrey, GIS Manager

The 2024 deadline for voluntary land registration is fast approaching and those with property remaining on the older General Sasine Register may risk losing out.

The General Register of Sasines is the oldest national public land register in the world, dating back to 1617 and is a record of land deeds based on written description of properties. It is currently being replaced by the Land Register of Scotland, a digital map-based service which provides superior accuracy on land ownership.

There are three avenues that land and property can take to move from the Sasine Register to its modern-day successor. The most common is when land is transacted upon, including a change of Lender for example, which would immediately trigger a digital land registration. Property can also be voluntarily registered by the owner, but the final, less favoured avenue, is when the Keeper registers the land.

It is common for large swaths of land and estates, which don’t often, if ever, change hands, to be lingering on the Sasine Register. In a push to make sure all land and property is digitised in Scotland, the Keeper has set a target of 90% of Scotland’s land mass to be transferred to the Land Register by December 2024.

Titles in the Sasine Register are notoriously difficult to decipher in a modern-day context and boundary descriptions are often the best interpretation, meaning the margin for error is high as plans are often not 100% accurate.

For landowners with complex boundaries, this can prove problematic when the Keeper comes to register the land on the digital system. To avoid errors in title, it is preferable to voluntarily register land to retain full control over what appears in the Land Register.

The GIS Mapping team at Bell Ingram has expertise in preparing Title Plans for landowners and dealing with complex title deeds to facilitate the transfer to the Land Register. With access to a large collection of historical maps, coupled with the most up-to-date mapping software, our team can accurately interpret titles to confirm the extent of ownership. For more complex titles where boundaries are unclear our team will conduct a site survey to help produce maps and digital data to evidence your land ownership.

If you have still to register your land for the digital system, please contact our GIS Manager Marcus Humphrey on or 01738 621121 to discuss your mapping needs. For more information on our GIS Mapping service visit

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Stuart McArtney

Stuart McArtney

Associate, BSc For MICFor
Forestry Management
Tel: 01738 621 121

About: Stuart is a highly experienced Forest Manager working across Scotland advising private, corporate and public sector clients on all aspects of forestry and project management. Stuart joined Bell Ingram in 2014 and specialises in new woodland creation schemes. He is also highly experienced in GIS mapping. Interests: Forestry, Mapping & GIS Services, Woodland Management.

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    Article posted on 13/06/2022