Trig point and view across landscape, Stanage Edge, Sheffield
The land sector has this year felt the effect of factors as varied as the war in Ukraine and drought across the UK, both of which have had an impact on resource use and planning.
But along with its coverage of these issues, Land Journal has also been keen to look at opportunities for surveyors, whether this means the role digital technology could play in supporting land registration or the possibilities for taking your skills elsewhere in the world.
The start of the year prompted some reflection on long-established practices. Land Journal noted that, while land registration by title has predominated for more than 150 years, it is not without its problems.
In their February article, Duncan Moss FRICS and Dr Anthony Beck observed that a system of registration by title reduces the security of the true owner, because errors – including fraud – may become indelible, given that common law is overridden by registration. However, the authors suggested that digital technology presents opportunities to take a hybrid approach.
'If a mistake is made on the register, property law can make it impossible for the rightful owner to reclaim their land'
Even bolder in terms of a creative response to a major challenge was Russell Curtis, who in his July article asked whether London's golfers would be prepared to give up some exclusive courses to provide housing for 140,000 people. How would our planning system cope with such an approach, he wondered?
Detailing how much space these courses occupy, he argued that a significant number of houses could be built there without affecting golfers' enjoyment of the game.
'The area required for a single golfer to enjoy a round could provide homes for around 380 people'
Looking further afield than London, Jonathan Manns FRICS in November told the story of his move from the UK's capital to New Zealand's, where he now heads an office for an international real-estate firm.
He explained what he learned from this experience that might help anyone considering a similar career move – including using the transferable skills common to all chartered surveyors to reinvent himself.
'You can't bend another system to fit what you find comfortable – but you can flex to find a space that fits you'
Different types of global-level change came to bear in one of our summer articles. With the electric vehicle revolution and the difficult geopolitical situation, the UK's rare metal resources, mineral processing capacity and mining education are subject to renewed attention.
Kim Moreton MRICS, chair of the Camborne School of Mines Association, spoke to us in June about the challenges facing the sector in the UK. He talked about the need for minerals exploration programmes, with targets or certainty for those funding it, and the planning regime's capacity to handle mineral applications, given the huge pressure caused by budgetary cuts.
But he identified increasing opportunities in the electric vehicle market, and outlined the role RICS members can play in supporting the sector – seeing good mineral surveyors as essential to projects.
'How do we maintain some balance between where we pollute at home and where we buy our energy from?'
Another topic where resource use and environmental impact come into play is that of the water required by farming. To round off the year, Kelly Hewson-Fisher of the National Farmers' Union discussed the importance of the security of water resources with the journal.
Given this summer's droughts, she stressed the importance of securing sufficient water for next year's growing season – and noted that funding for storage facilities is available from the government.
'Long-term collaboration is key to secure the water required for food production'
Publication of Land Journal resumes in the new year, when we will continue our coverage of these and other topics – including a follow-up on land registration issues, how truffle growing may be an opportunity for UK farmers and landowners, the latest on nutrient neutrality, more on biodiversity net gain, and an update on the legal situation for telecommunications.