The first meeting of a new working group, designed to give a voice to Crown Estate tenants, has been held by NFU Scotland.
NFU Scotland has been engaging with Scottish Government and politicians for some time, in response to members’ concerns regarding the devolution of Crown Estate assets. This new short-life working group gives tenants from each of the four estates in Scotland the opportunity to put forward their views and experiences.
President Allan Bowie represents the Union on the Scottish Government’s Stakeholder Advisory Group, which is chaired by Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead.
The rural estate, which includes 37,000 hectares of rural land, is comprised mainly of secure 1991 Act tenancies. This is divided into Glenlivet Estate in Aberdeenshire, Fochabers Estate in Moray, Applegarth Estate in Dumfries and Galloway, and Whitehill Estate in Rosewell. This is in addition to other assets owned by the Crown, including commercial property, forestry, salmon fishing rights, and foreshore.
Commenting on the meeting, NFU Scotland Allan Bowie said: “The new working group will ensure that Crown Estate tenants on each of the four estates have a voice, and are able to feed views directly into the Union.
“I will ensure these views are fed directly into Scottish Government so the interests of tenant farmers are kept to the forefront.
“There is much parity of what the tenants on the four estates wish to achieve, and there is recognition of the need for both a short and long term vision for the Crown Estate.
“This new working group will ensure that NFUS can build on the work it has already undertaken on behalf of these tenants, which has included direct contact by myself with the Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead, and a number of open meetings which have been held on the estates.
“NFU Scotland has been in contact with the majority of Crown Estate tenants, and will communicate any information via a dedicated email address. However, there are some tenants which we have not been able to identify yet, and if they wish to register to receive updates on the process and minutes from this meetings of the working group they are welcome to contact Policy Manager Gemma Thomson on 0131 472 4018.”