Starter farms for new entrants
We're offering new entrants to farming a unique opportunity to help start their business.
In 2012, our pilot offered new entrants the chance to lease part-time starter farms on Scotland's National Forest Estate. Following the pilot's success, which saw two new tenants in Fife, we rolled out the scheme with eight more tenancies.
We developed the initiative alongside our woodland creation activity. This delivers a vital part of Scottish Ministers’ climate change programme. It complements our wider commitment to maximising integrated land use on the Estate.
Successful applicants gain valuable experience in managing their own small-scale farm business. An important step before moving on to larger scale operations at the end of their lease.
Starter business units
As well as starter farms, we're creating agricultural grazing opportunities on the Estate.
These small business units provide new entrants with start up grazing areas. This will help to build up their farming careers/enterprises. This will be through is low input/output farming methods that enhance our environmental objectives.
Fore more information, see our starter business unit FAQs.
We have no opportunities right now.
Working for the next generation of farmers
The Starter Farms initiative is part of a wider commitment to develop new entrant opportunities across Scotland. It's supported by Scottish Land & Estates, NFU Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland and The Crown Estate. It encourages new people into agricultural and rural land-based businesses, matching opportunity with demand.
New options these organisation are considering include:
- Developing a way to identify potential new entrants. This would consider their needs/skills, and match them with new opportunities.
- Creating a package of skills development and mentoring. This would equip new entrants with the skills to develop successful land-based businesses.
- Setting up an on-going contact process to provide expert guidance and support. This would offer business establishment advice to the new starts over their initial years.
Forestry Commission Scotland has developed the Starter Farm Initiative in partnership with:
- Scottish Governments Rural Payments & Inspections Department
- National Farmers Union Scotland
- Scottish Tenant Farmers Association
- Scottish Land & Estates
- Crown Estates
Meet some of our starter farm tenants
It's always good to hear from others who have been in your situation. Living the Dream (PDF 4.4MB) contains stories from new entrants who have been successful in securing an FCS starter farm.