Scotland business

Land release move to attract new farmers

Scottish countryside Image copyright Getty Images

About 50 new farms are to be created across Scotland with the release of land held by public bodies.

The move is part of Scottish government efforts to create ways for new farmers to get started in the industry.

More than 1,000 hectares of land, owned by organisations such as Scottish Water and Forestry Enterprise Scotland, will be released in the spring.

Ministers said the availability of land was "one of the primary barriers" to attracting new entrants to farming.

The Scottish government has committed to identifying and releasing more public and private land for new farmers as part of an action plan.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: "With the average age of Scottish farmers at 58 years of age, attracting new entrants to farming is vital for the long-term sustainability of the industry.

"New entrants drive innovation and best practice, improve efficiencies and contribute towards the overall economic vitality of the sector."