Tenant Farmers should not be treated as pawns

Scottish Tenant Farmers Association

News Release

17th October 2018

Tenant Farmers should not be treated as pawns

The Scottish Tenant Farmers Association has welcomed the Chairman of the Scottish Land Commission’s intervention in the ongoing row between Buccleuch Estates and tenant farmers facing eviction from the land they farm on the Eskdale and Liddesdale Estate. Chairman Andrew Thin has criticised the treatment of David and Alison Telfer by their landlords, who he says are behaving unreasonably.  The Telfers now have until November to leave the farm.

Applauding Andrew Thin’s comments, STFA director Angus McCall said; “It is high time that Buccleuch Estates realised that 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 criticism by the local community at a meeting called in February of this year 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  These proposals now seem to have been replaced by a policy of selling the land, much of it with sitting tenants on short term tenancies,  thus leaving the business of removing the tenants to make way for trees to the new owners.

“Andrew Thin is right to stand up for the Telfers who have only 4 years to go before retirement STFA shares his view that it would only be reasonable and decent to let them remain at Cleuchfoot until then.   At present the Land Commission has no power to force the issue but landowners like Buccleuch should think twice before ignoring criticism by the Land Commission, particularly as this is not the first time their behaviour and management style has been called into question.”


Notes for editors:

Andrew Thin’s comments have been reported by BBC Scotland https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-45862587