I recently enjoyed a very interesting and informative visit with Ian Davidson and Yumi Kato to meet Stephen Withers and Neil Sandilands at Upper Hundalee farm, Jedburgh. Yumi is from Japan and is currently undertaking a PhD at Newcastle University studying different approaches to land access.
Despite the uncertainty around a last-minute Brexit deal and the ongoing disruption issues caused by Covid19 the Service has continued to deliver as a source of advice and facilitation between potential joint venture participants.
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
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.
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.
Having been through a period of uncertainty because of Brexit I don’t think anyone could ever have conceived that we would be almost immediately into an even more extraordinary period in our history. Covid19 has certainly impacted on the way we live and work and it will be interesting to see what legacy that leaves when inevitably we are through this. Farming of course goes on – the tap simply cannot be switched on and off at will. By the time you are reading this sowing, planting, lambing and calving will all be well underway with all the promise and hope that new life brings.