December update from SLMS.

December update from SLMS.

I recently had an interesting discussion with Austin Finn who manages the SLMS equivalent in the Republic of Ireland called Land Mobility. I had met Austin previously in 2017 in Dublin when Land Mobility had been running for just over two years on a pilot basis and feedback from that visit led to the feasibility study into whether a similar system could run in Scotland. They have now been running for 5 years and have helped broker over 500 agreements across the country. With enquiries running at between 30 and 40 a month they have taken on two further facilitators to develop their regional approach. It was interesting to hear that over 50% of the agreements in place are tenancies – there are tax advantages to the landowner which will certainly impact on decisions.

As I have said previously any joint venture is as much about building a trusting relationship as it is about the business and that not every introduction will lead to an agreement so it was interesting to have that confirmed by Austin – their success rate of introduction leading to an agreement runs at just under 50%.

They have good buy-in from landowner’s, but Austin reported that many young farmers come forward but do not sustain their interest when reality hits and sadly move out of the industry. Having ambition and enthusiasm is fantastic but being realistic about what is possible is something people need to consider very carefully.

Finally, the saying that you never know what is around the corner has unexpectedly applied to me recently. I will be having to take some time out to deal with a health issue in the next few months. We are in the process of getting someone to cover for me so watch this space for details in due course.

Ian Davidson


Are you looking for a new rural lifestyle or even just to scale back from the bustle of city life?

Are you looking for a new rural lifestyle or even just to scale back from the bustle of city life?
Region: East Central
Size of farm: 4
Type of farm: Horticulture
Are you looking for a new rural lifestyle or even just to scale back from the bustle of city life? Craigencalt Farm is in an idyllic spot beside Kinghorn Loch, Fife, and is home to a range of creative businesses, hobbyists, residences and allotment holders. We are now offering a unique opportunity for an individual or group of individuals to establish a market garden based on a previous organic allotment site. Access to a mature apple/plum orchard is also available. This comes with space for chickens and an existing chicken shed. Possibilities exist for fruit and vegetables to be sold to nearby outlets. Also on offer is access to a 3-acre woodland and the ability to manage trees for the supply of firewood logs to the local community. Long-term leases would be available for people who share our passion for the countryside, the environment and a more sustainable lifestyle. The lease cost for all component parts would be circa £90pcm. Craigencalt is easily accessible from Edinburgh by train or car. Please email us and tell us a little bit about yourself and your interest in leasing the land by 20th January 2021. Contact

Register your interest

Phone: 07741 902648