The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP announced at the NFUS AGM the names of the latest new entrants to be awarded tenancy opportunities on Forestry Commission Scotland starter farms. The new entrants who will begin their farming careers from April on three farms located in Aberdeenshire and Dumfriesshire are:
- Ross and Kirsten Williams (aged 30 from Turriff) who will farm at Upper Tullochbeg, Huntly
- Richard O’Rourke and Aimee Mitchell (aged 23 and 21 from Castle Douglas) who will farm at Falgunzeon, Dalbeattie
- Alister Orr (aged 35 from Cumnock) who will farm at Carserigg, Kirkconnel
Mr Lochhead said that the starter farm initiative provides real opportunities for the next generation of farmer and that it is an excellent example of both optimising land use and collaborative working across both the forestry and agriculture sectors.
In addition to these units the FCS has identified two more starter farms - at Rynaclach Farm, near Aberfoyle, Stirlingshire and at Glenside, by Kirkmichael, Ayrshire - and is now seeking applications for these opportunities. FCS is offering the new entrants a 10 year Limited Duration Tenancy (LDT) agreement and it is hoped that each will gain valuable experience in managing their own farm business on a part-time basis before moving on to larger scale operations at the end of their lease period.