Policy actions  1 of 2

New entrants to farming

Attracting new entrants to Scottish farming is crucial to the ongoing vitality, resilience and competitiveness of the sector. 

Finding a way into farming can be a daunting prospect, particularly if the prospective new entrant does not come from a farming background. Even in farming families, the business might not be of sufficient scale to support a new entrant. 

We recognise there are considerable challenges to entering the sector. Access to finance, land, advice, training and skills are all potential barriers.  We have, therefore, put in place a number of initiatives to help with entry.

Farming Opportunities for New Entrants (FONE) group

We set up the FONE group in late 2016 to provide a co-ordinated approach to developing opportunities for new entrants.  So far, FONE has helped around 60 new entrants into the agricultural sector by providing over 90 opportunities and over 6,400 hectares of land. 

Find out more: Farming Opportunities for New Entrants Group

Land opportunities

We work with a number of organisations to identify possible opportunities across Scotland. The spring 2020 land opportunities are advertised below:

Land opportunity: 
1. Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) have a good number of opportunities advertised on FLS website .
2. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) are offering an opportunity at Rhynie Chert Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) where SNH consider their environmental and land management objectives can be met by way of low input/output farming methods.  For further details please see the Scottish Natural Heritage website or email TAYSIDE_GRAMPIAN@nature.scot

NB: Applicants should be aware that there is another opportunity very nearby being offered by Forestry and Land Scotland (above) and may wish to apply for both opportunities to support a larger enterprise. 

New entrants schemes/finance

Through the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) we have helped more than 250 new agricultural businesses and assisted hundreds of other business development projects with around £24 million of support. 

The schemes are currently closed to applications, but we have made clear our commitment to support new entrants as we begin the process of developing a new rural support policy.

Advice and mentoring

The Farm Advisory Service New Entrants to Farming Programme includes activities to aid potential and aspiring new entrants into the agricultural industry.

This includes access to a network of groups across the country helping people at various stages in developing their business.  For more information or where to find your nearest group contact: Kirsten Williams, SAC Consulting, Telephone: 01888 563333 or email: Kirsten.Williams@sac.co.uk

If you are considering becoming a farmer or crofter, or have set up business in the last five years, then you are also entitled to free support through the Farm Advisory Service’s mentoring programme

Related information

New entrants can find more information: