Report on New Farming Starter Opportunities on Publicly Owned Land
In June 2015, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment announced plans to set up a working group to deliver proposals to maximise the amount of publicly owned land used to help the farmers of the future, start their career in the industry.
The Cabinet Secretary’s plans coincided with the release of the most recent Forest Enterprise Scotland starter farm. New Entrants to farming were first offered the chance to lease part-time starter units on Scotland’s National Forest Estate as part of a pilot initiative introduced in January 2012. The initiative was developed as part of a repositioning programme for the National Forest Estate which also included a wider commitment to maximise integrated land use opportunities on the Estate. Following the success of the initial pilot, the programme was rolled out and in total, nine tenancies have been created on the National Forest Estate; in addition, a further Starter Farm has been created on the estate of the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Inspections Division (RPID).
The Starter Farms initiative is part of a wider Scottish Government commitment to developing opportunities for New Entrants across Scotland. Start-up grants, access to Basic Payments allied to advice and skills programmes are all designed to facilitate entry and allow individuals to develop.
The Report on New Farming Starter Opportunities on Publicly Owned Land, therefore, broadly sets out conclusions and recommendations that have been reached from the evidence presented. The Group have, however, consciously tried to keep this report short and readable.
Link to the Report published on 23 November 2016: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/11/2861
Link to Scottish Government response: http://news.gov.scot/news/new-generation-of-farmers-1