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Scottish farms made available for young farmers to get started

Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead has announced the use of public land in Scotland will create more opportunities for the next generation of farmers.

Alice   Singleton

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Alice   Singleton
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The Scottish Government have created opportunities for new entrants using public land
The Scottish Government have created opportunities for new entrants using public land

New entrant farmers are being given more opportunities to enter the industry, thanks to the Scottish Government utilising public land.

 

11 starter farms have already been created on Scottish Government land since 2012 in order to maximise the use of publically owned land and help secure a future for the farming industry.

 

Crucial for the future

 

Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead said: "Ensuring the next generation of farmers can get a foothold on the farming ladder is absolutely crucial for the future of the industry that puts food on our tables.


“Our innovative approach of creating starter farms on public land has been a hugely successful way of doing this which is why I last year established an expert group to maximise the amount of publicly-owned land available to young farmers.

 

“Even though the group has yet to submit its final report, we are now beginning to reap the rewards of its endeavours with even more starter farms and opportunities for young farmers coming onto the market.”

 

Starter farms

The Scottish Government has already created opportunities for young farmers in the formation of starter farms:

 

  • A 27-hectare (67.8-acre) five-year let at Lochnameal on Mull
  • A 9.3-hectare (23-acre) five-year let at Argentinny in Cowal on the National Forest Estate, being brought back into agricultural use after many years

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Enterprise are working hard to identify land on their estates suitable for starter farm opportunities.

 

In addition, young farmers are being encouraged to apply for a 10 year Limited Duration Tenancy currently being advertised for Den Farm on The Crown Estate’s Fochabers estate in Moray.

 

Expert group

Mr Lochhead set up an expert group last year to submit a formal report and recommendations on maximising the use of publically owned land.

 

Henry Graham, who heads up the expert group said: "Over the last few months, I’ve been very pleased with the progress made by the group on identifying what farmers of the future need in progressing their career by delivering proposals to maximise starter opportunities on publicly owned land.

 

"It has been obvious from the discussions we’ve had with new entrants and different organisations that access to land is the key requirement.

 

"It has been great to see the drive, initiative and enthusiasm of these young people but it was also very clear that even before they took over these part time starter units, they all had been taking small areas of land on seasonal lets, often quite far apart."

 

 


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