Making change is never easy, we’re here to help.

Making change is never easy, we're here to help.

The 28th of May has always been a significant date as one of the traditional “term” dates when rents are due or where the tenant takes entry to or removes from the subjects leased. Changeovers are not as common now but still a significant date in the rural calendar.

Who would have thought that it would have a new significance this year as it marks the first small steps in easing lockdown in Scotland. As I said in my last blog, despite the restrictions, there has still been a relatively steady number of enquiries into the Land Matching Service. Whilst the follow-up telephone discussions have been helpful it has been frustrating not being able to meet people face to face and it is going to be a while before we see life getting back to some semblance of normality – whatever that might look like in the future.

One thing for sure is that things will be different to what we knew before the pandemic as people will have adjusted how they live and work and found that it suits them better. Farming, of course, has a long and great history of adapting to whatever life throws at it – whether it is weather, disease, market or political change – and generally coming through stronger.

What you might ask has that got to do with Land Matching? Making change is never easy, but recent events might be the catalyst for some to think about the future. There are still many people coming forward looking for opportunities who have a drive and enthusiasm to succeed – but they need the opportunity. If this period has made you think about looking towards retiral/change then please get in touch for a confidential chat – it does no harm to chat.

I had been planning to make use of many of the major summer shows and events as an opportunity to meet people to explain and discuss the Land Matching Service. Sadly, of course, that is no longer going to be possible, but I look forward to hopefully having an opportunity over the autumn-winter period to do so – virus permitting!

Ian Davidson


SLMS – May Update.

SLMS - May Update.

The extended great spell of weather we have had has certainly helped as we come to the end of our seventh week of lockdown. My last face to face meeting with someone was on 16 March but I have been really pleased that since then despite the restrictions the Service has still been able to operate.

Since the website launched on 8 April there have been 23 new registrations of interest as well as 6 direct telephone contacts which is really encouraging. Most registrations are still coming from people looking for opportunities though I am pleased that there have been some new and different opportunities coming forward since the website went live. These are all on the notes page of the website and if any are of interest please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Of course, the restrictions have meant that meeting people has been impossible and therefore to keep things moving I have been having very helpful telephone conversations getting more detail on people’s objectives and discussing what their options might be.
The knock-on effect on making introductions is obvious but I have been able to make some “virtual” introductions where people are going to contact each other by telephone in the first instance. Hopefully that can lead to a face to face meeting, when that can take place safely, and build the relationship further.

When I spoke at the NFUS Argyll and Islands AGM in Tarbert back in January the point was raised not to forget that farm management was also a very useful and helpful way into the industry particularly in gaining valuable experience in operating a business.

There are not as many farm managers posts available as there used to be, but it is something that could be worth looking at as a route into establishing a future joint venture. As I have said many times before joint ventures are about building relationships and trust. Farm / enterprise management as part of initial steps in building a relationship that develops into a joint venture may well be an option worth considering.

Ian Davidson


Experienced farm business manager looking for opportunity to build own upland livestock farming business

Experienced farm business manager looking for opportunity to build own upland livestock farming business
Region: Lothian and Borders
Type of farm: Sheep, Beef and Suckler Cows
Farm manager with strong business, people and marketing skills looking for an opportunity in hill / upland livestock farming. Any area considered.

Register your interest

Phone: 07741 902648