South Scotland

Buccleuch to sell off large slice of south of Scotland estate

Langholm Moor Image copyright Richard Webb
Image caption Langholm Moor is included in the proposed sale on the Borders Estate

A sizeable slice of southern Scotland is to be put up for sale.

Buccleuch has announced it intends to sell about 25,000 acres of its Borders Estate following a review of its land.

The area stretches from Auchenrivock in the south to Hartsgarth in the north - much of it currently part of the group's farming operations.

The company said it would consult local communities about the plans with a questionnaire to be made available online or in local community hubs.

Buccleuch, which represents the interests of the Buccleuch family, said the land included a "small number" of farm tenancies which would continue under any new ownership along with blocks of forestry.

Image copyright Richard Webb
Image caption The moor has been the site of recent scientific projects

The area involved also contains Langholm Moor which has been the site of two major scientific projects into moorland management.

Benny Higgins, executive chairman of Buccleuch, said: "The completion of the Langholm Moor project gave us an opportunity to look at what the moor's future should be within the wider Buccleuch portfolio of landholdings.

"That review led us to the conclusion that marketing the moor area for sale was our preferred option.

"The decision is very much in line with our business's stated aim of reducing the Buccleuch footprint while enabling us to invest in priority projects."

Reduced footprint

The Borders Estate - which contains the land involved - was formed last year by the merger of the old Bowhill and Eskdale & Liddesdale estates

Buccleuch has instructed Savills to handle the proposed sale.

Andrew Thin, who chairs the Scottish Land Commission, welcomed the plans to allow the public to have a say on how the deal progressed.

"Buccleuch Estates has committed to reduce its overall footprint and it is good to see the estate undertaking community engagement to help inform the next phase of proposed land sales," he said.

He also encouraged other large-scale landowners to consider a similar approach.

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