Starter business unit FAQs

Q. What is a starter business unit?

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

Q. What does weighed favourably mean?

A. 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.

Q. Are all starter business units the same?

A. 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.

Q. 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.

Q. Who's responsible for fencing?

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

Q. Can applicants enter environmental schemes like SRDP?

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

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

A. Yes. We want to create a farming ladder to move on.

Q. Has soil analysis been done, or will it be?

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

Q. What about public access?

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

Q. How can FCS be a good landlord for a tenant farmer when its focus is forestry?

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

Q. I applied before but was unsuccessful – can I reapply?

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