Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Buccleuch’s handling of tenant case criticised

Buccleuch Estates put another 9,000 acres of land around Langholm on the market last month.
Buccleuch Estates put another 9,000 acres of land around Langholm on the market last month.

Scottish Land Commission chairman Andrew Thin has described Buccleuch Estates’ treatment of a tenant farming couple as “unreasonable” in the ongoing dispute over ending the tenancy to make way for trees.

An application for planting of forestry on the upland ground previously managed for sheep by David and Alison Telfer is expected to be submitted within the next two weeks.

The Telfers have until November 2019 to leave the rest of the farm. However, Mr Thin has intervened, calling for the Telfers to be allowed to farm for another four years, until they reach retirement age.

He said: “That seems a perfectly reasonable thing to ask for. We don’t have any authority to force the issue but it seems a reasonable request. I haven’t seen a reasonable explanation as to why Buccleuch are not willing to do that.”

Mr Thin’s comments were endorsed by Scottish Tenant Farmers Association director Angus McCall, who said landowners like Buccleuch should think twice before ignoring criticism by the land commission, as it was not the first time their management style has been called into question.

He added: “It is high time that Buccleuch Estates realised the decisions they make affect the lives of individuals who have been living and working on estate land and should not just be treated as pawns in the land management game.

“The Duke himself, his CEO John Glen and their factoring team have already been harshly criticised by the local community at a meeting in February to discuss forestry proposals on the Eskdale and Liddesdale Estate. These proposals now seem to have been replaced by a policy of selling the land, much of it with sitting tenants on short-term tenancies, thus leaving removing tenants to make way for trees to the new owners.”

Mr McCall added: “The incentives for planting trees are so good, landowners are looking at forestry as a preferred option.

“However most landowners are a bit more circumspect than Buccleuch and wait until a tenancy comes to an end then plant trees.”

A spokesman for Buccleuch said: “Earlier this year we agreed a new lease on the low ground until November 2019, taking (the Telfers) 21 months beyond the end date of their tenancy agreement and we believed this to be a fair and reasonable approach.

“Given our intention to sell the farm, and the fact it would be grossly unfair to many other short-term tenancy holders, it has not been possible to extend the tenure of the farm further.”

nnicolson@thecourier.co.uk

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]