Forestry Commission Scotland is offering new entrants to farming a unique opportunity to help get their business started. A farm at Upper Tullochbeg near Huntly is open to applicants with some agricultural experience, but who have no land holding. They can be related to an active farmer but this new venture will not form part of an existing farming business. The applicant will need to demonstrate how this opportunity allows the development of a new farming unit.
The new entrant starter farm will be available from from 15 April 2013 on a ten year Limited Duration Tenancy five year Short Limited Duration Tenancy may be considered if more appropriate. It is intended that successful applicants will gain valuable experience in managing and growing their farm business, enabling them to move on to larger scale operations at the end of their lease period, freeing the unit for further new entrants.
Speaking at the New Entrants Summit in Edinburgh Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said
The future of the industry relied on new people getting a foot on the farming ladder.
It is clear that the demand is there from the next farming generation and I am sure that these opportunities in Aberdeenshire and Dumfriesshire will spark a lot of interest.
In addition I am pleased to announce that Forestry Commission Scotland expects to be in the position to unveil three more farms in Spring 2013.
I am encouraged by the way the commission has worked closely with the industry to develop this initiative and to bring forward these opportunities for new entrants.
It provides a template for others to follow and I hope that many more opportunities for potential farmers will open up on public land in the years to come.
NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said
That makes it important that, as older tenants wish to retire, we provide a pathway for a new generation to take over,
When there is no direct succession in place, we need to establish how such farms can be made available to new blood and that letting to the new generation is a viable alternative to merging units or letting them to existing businesses.
It is in the long-term interests of the industry that we come up with some positive views how new entrants can access any bank of land that becomes free.
As well as the Upper Tullochbeg farm, Falgunzeon by Dalbeatie (Dumfriesshire) and Carserigg by Kirkconnel (Dumfriesshire) are also being offered as Starter Farms. Anyone interested in applying should visit the Forestry Commission Scotland Starter Farms website which provides more information on the three farms and the application process.