Scottish Land & Estates, which represents 2,500 landowners across Scotland, said today (Friday October 21) there is ‘clear evidence’ of the commitment of landowners to the tenant farming sector.
Luke Borwick, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, welcomed the announcement today (Friday October 21) by Buccleuch Estates that it was bringing 17 separate farming lots on its Queensberry Estate to the market, including whole farms units, land with and without buildings and opportunities for new entrants.
Mr Borwick said: “The Buccleuch announcement is the most striking example in recent times of landowners willing to let land and shows there is a real desire to see a healthy and vibrant tenant farming sector. It’s in everyone’s interests for that to happen.
“The structure in which the land is being let at Queensberry is welcome, particularly in trying to address the new entrant issue. Should that progress as planned there will have been four new entrants at Queensberry in the last three years and that is to be celebrated.
“However, the Buccleuch announcement is not the only example of landowners trying to invigorate the sector. For example, a 21 year old award winning agricultural graduate fought off 15 other applicants for the tenancy of Ballaterach Farm, initially on a five-year Short Limited Duration Tenancy, on the Inchmarnoch Estate near Ballater. And there is a 500-acre stock farm currently being offered on a tenancy basis in Perthshire.
“These are examples of evidence that landowners are doing what they can to let land and we do not believe that landowners hold on to land unnecessarily.
“Scottish Land & Estates has also held discussions recently with the National Farmers Union Scotland and the Scottish Tenant Farming Association to address the areas of agricultural legislation which work well and those that work less well.
“Our organisation is a wholly committed member of the Tenant Farming Forum and believes it is the best vehicle for the industry to deal with the challenges we are facing.”