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Scottish Land & Estates Refutes STFA Claims

In response to a statement from the STFA which claimed that there is a widespread move to ‘replace tenant farmers with trees’, Scottish Land & Estates issued the following statement.  

David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Land owners want to make the best use of the land. That includes different forms of farming. Estates with land to let want to let land to tenants where it makes business sense to do so. It is widely acknowledged that Limited Partnerships are being phased out across the sector but that in many cases, this will lead to conversion to a modern LDT. It should also be remembered that limited partnerships are agreements for fixed periods of time rather in perpetuity.

“Any attempt to create a ‘trees versus tenants’ debate is, we believe, is misleading and too simplistic. Increasingly, there are efforts to see farming and forestry as existing side-by-side as part of diverse rural land-based businesses. Also, land that can generate sustainable income through agriculture will continue to be farmed.

“Looking ahead, there is a great deal of uncertainty about the amounts of public funding that will be available to support farming so it is legitimate, indeed necessary, to look long and hard at the viability of agricultural units - tenanted or owner-occupied - and how those units can be organised to secure their future or make the best use of the land. We believe that identifying the best possible use of land in Scotland in a way that supports our rural areas, whilst aiding government policy targets, whether it be through agriculture or forestry, is the correct approach to take.”

 

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