The Scottish Land Commission have published a research paper on increasing access to farm land for new entrants. Written by the James Hutton Institute, the report sought to look into joint ventures, tax interventions, land matching services and farm incubators. The Scottish Farm Land Trust (SFLT) featured as a “new model to increase land availability for new entrants.”
The report aimed to highlight some ways forward in a land system which is blocked to new entrants to farming. McKee et al. state that “access to land is consistently found to be the largest barrier to new entrants to farming across Europe,” and that in Scotland “the price of agricultural land is typically higher than could generate a return from agricultural production.”
This clearly shows that new and alternative models are needed in order to make land available for new entrants to farming in Scotland. Farm land trusts are providing such an alternative throughout Europe, which SFLT has experienced first hand in a recent European learning exchange. We visited France and Germany to learn first hand from established land trusts as well as exchanging experiences with emerging land trusts in Czech and Greece. We came back inspired by the tangible impact these organisations are making to new entrants.
The Hutton report also suggested a possible ‘Land Matching Service’ as a way of pairing landowner up with new entrants looking for land. They highlighted the need for trust and relationship building in gaining support of landowners, a sentiment which was shared by European Land Trusts. There is potential for SFLT to manage such a land matching service and we are exploring how we could develop a brokering service in the near future.
Thanks for everyone who came along to our AGM! We had a great afternoon and evening and the Queens Park Bowling Club in Glasgow. Thanks to Clem for the awesome food, and our volunteers for helping wash up and take minutes.
For those of you who didn’t make it along, a big focus of the AGM was to discuss becoming a Community Benefit Society (Bencom). Our feasibility study, including research from Community Enterprise and Nourish Scotland, concluded that being a Bencom would support our aspirations to be democratic and community driven as well as raising money from the general public. We split into two groups to consider the proposed Bencom rules, one to review the objectives, and one to consider the shares and finance. The SFLT board is now hard at work ironing out the changes and we will apply for registration soon!
We also elected board members on the day. The voluntary board will become the founding members of SFLT and are:
If you couldn’t make it along and are interested in joining the board, please get in touch. We will update you with progress on registration and we will also be applying for funding to set up and develop the Scottish Farm Land Trust.
SFLT board of directors.
As part of our feasibility study we commissioned Nourish Scotland to compare farm land trusts elsewhere in the world and Community Enterprise to consider legal, financial and governance options for Scottish Farm Land Trust. Read them both here.
Nourish report - Comparison of different farm land trusts
Community Enterprise report - Options appraisal of legal, financial and governance models
5pm - 10:30pm Queens Park Bowling & Tennis Club, Glasgow, G42 8DA
Come along to support the development of SFLT, and learn more about why access to land for agroecological farming in Scotland is important.
Grow the Growers is an initiative run by Locavore to enable keen gardeners to take their interest further and take their first steps into growing for profit. Each new grower gets 25 square metre plot at the Bowling Club and access to market through Locavore.
In Our Hands is a documentary (1hr running time) about the crisis in food and farming. It is the story of a new kind of farm, a new kind of food and a new kind of society. It has been created as an open source tool in order to debunk the myth of the industrial food system.
This event is FREE but we encourage you to register so we know how much food to make! Register HERE
The report written by Nourish Scotland for the Scottish Farm Land Trust is out now. Click on the image below to find out more about why we need the Scottish Farm Land Trust.
We think that thing is a Scottish Farm Land Trust. According to Scotland's Land Reform Act, we are working for 'a Scotland where the ownership, management and use of land and buildings contributes to the collective benefit of everybody’. A land trust could help facilitate a transformation of how we use our land, and support farming in Scotland that provides nutritious food for local people, sustains rural communities, contributes to healthy ecosystem and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
On 27th September, we’ll be joined by speakers who have successfully established land trusts in Europe, and local farmers who are farming for social and environmental benefit. You’ll also be able to pick up a copy of our forthcoming report 'Wanted: Land for New Farmers' which puts forward the case for a land trust in Scotland to increase access to land for ecological agriculture.
To register please visit: landfornewfarmers.eventbrite.co.uk
Whether you own 1 acre or 100, we want to hear from you.
Click here to fill out our landowners survey.
This survey is for people and organisations who currently own farm land in Scotland. We want to find out what farm land is out there, what it is used for and what landowners think of our ideas. Please help us to increase access to land for ecological agriculture by giving us your thoughts. Whether you agree with our ideas of not, landowners we want to here from you!
In April, we launched a survey to find out more about who is looking for land in Scotland. (It’s still open! See below).
We’ve been astounded by the response to the survey, with over 1,200 filling it in. We clearly have a large contingent of passionate and dedicated people who would like to farm in Scotland, but are held back by the inaccessibility of land and prohibitive costs of starting a farm.
In June, we will be holding meetings around Scotland. These events will be an opportunity to find out more about the Scottish Farm Land Trust, inform the development of the organisation, and get involved if you would like to. The events will also be a chance to share more about your situation, and feed in to the Scottish Farm Land Trust’s report on access to land, small-scale farming, and supporting ecological agriculture in Scotland.
Mon 19th June, Edinburgh: Quaker Meeting House, 6-8.30pm
Sat 24th June, North-east: Tangleha, near St Cyrus, 2-4.30pm
Mon 26th June, Inverness: Glachbeg on the Black Isle, 6-8.30pm
Please get in touch with Bella - firstname.lastname@example.org, 0131 2261497, if you are interested in attending, or if you cannot attend an event, but would like to be involved.
Looking for farm land in Scotland? We want to hear from you.
The Scottish Farm Land Trust (SFLT), in collaboration with Nourish Scotland, is undertaking a survey to find out who is looking for land in Scotland and what they want for it. Click here to fill out the survey.
Our aim is to increase access to land for ecological agriculture, and we want to build SFLT as an organisation led by small-scale farmers, growers and new entrants.
Fill out our survey to tell us if you have ever been looking for land, what you would do with it, what you think of our aims and what challenges you have faced. We want to hear from everyone who has even thought about looking for farmland so please pass this email on. We will use the survey results to inform the development and strategy of SFLT, as an organisation to support new entrants and sustainable food production in Scotland.
Thanks for helping out and let us know if you want to get involved. Get in touch via email@example.com
As you may be aware, we are due to start our feasibility study in December. We have chosen to team up with Nourish Scotland to carry out the study. Nourish are taking action at both the grass-roots level and the national legislative level of the food movement and have broad expertise in the food system, including access to land in Scotland. We are excited to be working with an organisation so passionate about ecological agriculture and changing how food is produced.
Over the coming weeks we will be working on exactly how the feasibility study will take shape, and when we do, we’ll let you know how you can take part.
In other news, we will be travelling to Germany in January as part of European knowledge-sharing project on access to land for ecological agriculture. We will be learning from organisations who have been in the business for years.