The new tenant of a 515 acre stockholding in Perthshire has praised the landlord-tenant relationship.
Farmer Michael Blanche is new to the Dupplin Estate on a 10 year Limited Duration Tenancy (LDT) for the holding, which comprises Culteuchar Hill Farm and Netherholm. He said:
“As a new entrant there is a real challenge in making enough cash to grow a business from farming alone and in the past I have run my flock in conjunction with a consultancy business. I have been grazing sheep on seasonal grass lets which have for the majority of the time been over 30 miles from home. This meant significant time and cost simply for travel as well as the pressure of never really knowing where the sheep will graze next. Land available for long term let has just been so scarce.
“Being able to consolidate my enterprise onto a single landholding is of considerable benefit to me. Estates such as Dupplin, which are able to rotate farm land from time to time, are key to providing opportunities for new entrants into the farming sector and I am very pleased to have secured the tenancy.”
Dupplin Estate, a member of Scottish Land & Estates, specifically intended the let as an opportunity to offer a viable agricultural unit to a first time tenant. This was a key factor in the selection process and three of the four parties shortlisted fell into this category.
Michael Blanche qualified as a land agent and agronomist before becoming a self employed agricultural consultant. In 2010 he completed a Nuffield Scholarship studying the “Farming Ladder” and travelling to Australasia, the Far East, Asia and Europe to observe how first generation farmers built equity in their businesses.
Alexander Dewar, owner of Dupplin Estate, commented:
“We were delighted to be able to select Michael as our preferred choice from a strong field of potential farm tenants. Michael employs progressive farming techniques and I believe the estate as well as the farm will benefit from his involvement. The estate’s portfolio of farms are operated under a range of different farming arrangements including traditional farm tenancies, contract farming, in-house farming and SLDTs as well as LDTs. I believe we are in a fortunate position where, from time to time, we have the opportunity to offer farming opportunities to new entrants who can bring fresh ideas and maintain the evolution of a healthy farming sector in Scotland”.