Roxburghe Estates has agreed arrangements for the letting of two stock farms to new entrants from 28 November 2012.
The Yett Farm, a hill farm of 1,210 acres in the Cheviot Hills near Hownam, Kelso has been let to Derek and Ann Redpath from Stow on a 15 year Limited Duration Tenancy. Mr Redpath, aged 40, who has worked as a shepherd since leaving agricultural college, has been looking for a suitable opportunity to farm on his own for the last five years.
Mr Redpath said, "We are delighted to have been successful in securing the tenancy of the Yett. It's a great opportunity for us and with a flock of 625 blackface ewes we can manage the farm ourselves and run the ewe flock which has been bred on the farm and therefore suitably acclimatised to the conditions of the hill."
Swinside Townfoot farm, a stock farm of 415 acres near Oxnam, Jedburgh has been let to Peter and Vicki Hedley from Otterburn, Northumberland, on a Short Limited Duration Tenancy for two years initially, while longer-term options are considered. Mr Hedley, aged 29, previously farmed in partnership with his father but has been looking to farm on his own account for the last two years.
Mr Hedley said, "This is an ideal opportunity for us to get started on our own. With the benefit of the experience of a similar sized farming operation at Overacres, Otterburn, we will be able to run a Cheviot ewe flock and cattle enterprise at Swinside. This is a renowned farming area and we are looking forward to establishing our own farming business on the Scottish side of the border. Roxburghe Estates has helped many young entrants get on to the farming ladder and we are really excited to have been given this chance."
Roxburghe Estates Factor Roddy Jackson explained that farms only occasionally come up for let and that it has been unusual for two farms to be let in the same year.
Mr Jackson said, "Opportunities like the Yett and Swinside Townfoot are quite rare. It just so happened that two existing farm tenants chose to retire at the same time releasing these farms to let. They were particularly suited to new entrants and we were therefore delighted to be able to offer the farms to two such highly capable stockmen. Both have had the benefit of experience in sheep management and this gave us confidence that they would make every success of running the farms."