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What is a starter unit?

These are areas of land which generally have no house or buildings. They tend to be grazing land. The application scoring system is weighed favourably towards New Entrants.

What does weighed favourably mean?

We use a transparent scoring system. This looks at many criteria, including New Entrant status. Sometimes, New Entrants may not be able to deliver our desired outcomes. With this in mind, scoring does not exclude more established farmers.

e.g. a land parcel may only need to be cattle-grazed for a few months in late summer to meet environmental aims. Most New Entrants won't have other land to move the cattle to, and many start out with sheep.

Are all starter units the same?

There's no strict definition on the size and type of units. They vary depending on available resources. Essentially, we provide a new entrant business opportunity while meeting wider land management objectives.

What tenure are they under?

We plan to let these on Short Limited duration tenancies (SLDT’s) of 5 years. Sometimes, this will be shorter due to medium and long term aims for the land.

Who's responsible for fencing?

All fixed equipment, including fences, will in suitable condition at the start of the lease. The tenant is responsible for maintenance.

Can applicants enter environmental schemes like SRDP?

While we're not against the idea, it's difficult on a short term let.

If I'm successful, can I still apply for a larger Starter Farm in future?

Yes. We believe these smaller starter units can make a good first step into agriculture, with the starter farms being a possible next step before tenants move on to larger opportunities elsewhere.

Has soil analysis been done, or will it be?

This depends on the land offered but is unlikely in most cases.

What about public access?

We encourage responsible public access on our land. Tenants must abide by the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, at least.

How can Forestry and Land Scotland be a good landlord for a tenant farmer when its focus is forestry?

We have decades of experience as a landlord to tenant farmers. We know how forestry and agriculture complement each other in rural Scotland. That's why we're pro-active in creating a good working relationship with our tenant farmers.

I applied before but was unsuccessful – can I reapply?

Absolutely. You'll need to tailor applications for each starter unit to meet our desired outcomes.

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