Four years ago we de­cided it would be in­ter­est­ing to try

Scottish Field - - CONTENTS -

and find out who the 100 most pow­er­ful peo­ple in ru­ral Scot­land are. It proved to be a can of worms – there was lit­tle agree­ment about what ‘power’ means, and be­sides which, how on earth do you com­pare, say, a con­ser­va­tion­ist tag­ging birds on a He­bridean is­land with a tex­tile or agri­cul­tural mag­nate em­ploy­ing thou­sands of peo­ple? Grad­u­ally, though, we be­gan to es­tab­lish some sort of con­sen­sus, even though the process was patently un­sci­en­tific and em­ployed a fair de­gree of sub­jec­tiv­ity. For in­stance, there were some peo­ple who gained en­try sim­ply be­cause they were men­tioned time and again. Oth­ers were in­cluded on the say-so of a sin­gle trusted source who knew an area of Scot­tish life in­side out. Nev­er­the­less, the end re­sult was a fea­ture of which we were very proud. Judg­ing from the post­bag we sub­se­quently re­ceived, not to men­tion the huge fil­lip in sales, it ap­pears you agreed that this was an ex­er­cise worth un­der­tak­ing.

Since then sev­eral of those ti­tans of ru­ral Scot­land who were in­cluded have died, oth­ers have changed jobs or seen their for­tunes de­cline, while some is­sues which were more prom­i­nent in 2013 – land re­form would be an ob­vi­ous ex­am­ple – have re­ceded in im­por­tance.

In­deed, in­di­vid­ual and col­lec­tive cir­cum­stances have changed so much that we feel it would be worth up­dat­ing our Ru­ral Power 100, and have started work­ing on do­ing so. We are far from per­fect how­ever and are bound to miss some peo­ple who should be in­cluded, so we’re ask­ing for your help – if you know any­one you think de­serves in­clu­sion, just email me at edi­tor@scot­tish­field.co.uk ex­plain­ing who, what, why and where. To­gether we can make this list even more com­pre­hen­sive than last time.

‘ How do you com­pare a con­ser­va­tion­ist tag­ging birds with a tex­tile mag­nate em­ploy­ing thou­sands of ru­ral peo­ple?’

Richard Bath, Edi­tor

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