Lay of the land
Survey to map Scotland’s tenant farming sector.
Surveys are being sent to every tenant farmer in Scotland as part of a major piece of research that will influence the future of Scottish farming.
Responses to the questionnaire will inform the work of the Ministerial-led Agricultural Holdings Legislation review which is considering, among other issues, absolute right to buy for traditional secure 1991 agricultural tenancies. Corresponding surveys will be sent to landlords shortly.
It comes as the Scottish Government publishes a new map showing the distribution of tenant farms across Scotland.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“This research is vital to the review of Agricultural Holdings Legislation I am leading, as responses will influence our findings and the future of Scottish farming.
“The map published today shows the distribution of tenant farms across Scotland, but we need to build up a much more detailed picture of the issues facing the sector and those working in it. The surveys being carried out on our behalf have been developed in collaboration with the Tenant Farming Forum and ask important questions about people’s experiences of farming and views on the future of the tenanted agriculture sector.
“To get the best from our land and the people farming it, we need a vibrant tenant farming sector and so I urge everyone who is asked to take part in these surveys to take full advantage of this unique opportunity to make their voice heard. All responses will be treated in the strictest confidence.”
Surveys asking about experiences of farming and views on the future of tenant farming of Scotland are being sent to all farm business that rent-in land on leases for more than one year. Responses can be submitted online or on paper and are requested by February 7, 2014 with a final closing date of March 10, 2014. Corresponding surveys will be sent to landlords shortly.
A further telephone survey to better understand landlord and tenant farmer relationships will be carried out with a sample of tenant farmers and landlords in the coming months.
All responses to these surveys will be treated in the strictest confidence.
The surveys have been carefully developed in collaboration with Tenant Farming Forum members including National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland, Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA), Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) and Scottish Agricultural Arbiters and Valuers Association (SAAVA).
A report incorporating all the strands of the research will be published on the Scottish Government website later this year.
The new map that has been published shows the percentage of tenanted agricultural land by parish, excluding tenanted croft land.