Buccleuch, the commercial arm of the landowning Buccleuch family, has announced its intention to sell 10,000 hectares in the Scottish Borders, including Langholm Moor.
The land lies between Langholm and Newcastleton and stretches from Auchenrivock in the South to Hartsgarth Fell in the North.
It includes a large part of Buccleuch’s own in-hand farming operation.
There are also a small number of farm tenancies, which, Buccleuch said, will continue under new ownership.
The proposed sale is the second major land disposal and follows hard on the heels of the marketing of the 3,600ha Evertown portfolio. Both sales are part of Buccleuch’s stated objective of reducing its landholding.
It is believed the sheer size of the landholding has proved difficult to manage effectively.
It is also very likely the decision will have been influenced by the high price of land suitable for tree planting.
Driven by strong demand for forest products and Scottish Government’s ever-increasing targets for planting, such land is now commonly worth three times its agricultural value.
Buccleuch has faced considerable local opposition to its land disposal policy, particularly with regard to the situation of tenant famers on limited duration leases and it is keen to avoid a repeat of the sort of confrontation which saw the Duke of Buccleuch heckled at a public meeting.
Langholm Moor has been the site of two major scientific projects relating to moorland management, the latter of which, the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, was completed two years ago.
Benny Higgins, executive chairman of Buccleuch, said: “The completion of the Langholm Moor project gave us an opportunity to look at what the moor’s future should be within the wider Buccleuch portfolio of landholdings.
“That review led us to the conclusion that marketing the moor area for sale was our preferred option.”
Danish fashion tycoon to be Scotland’s biggest landowner
THE sale of more Buccleuch land means it will no longer be the largest private landowner in Britain in terms of acreage.
Danish fashion billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen is now believed to now own 91,00 hectares of the Scottish Highlands across several estates.
His interests lie in re-wilding and re-establishing the ancient Caledonian Forest.
Mr Povlsen, owner of Bestseller, lost three of his four children in the recent terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.