Scottish Smallholder Festival

The Scottish Smallholder Festival is Scotland’s largest smallholder event, celebrating the best of Scottish smallholding, growing and craft.

Organised by smallholders and growers, it is aimed at all those with an interest in the productive use of small land holdings. The next Festival will be held on Saturday 23rd September 2017 at Lanark Agricultural Centre.

Outer Hebrides LEADER are seeking applications for their October 2017 deadline.

The Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 Programme has supported a number of projects and the Local Action Group, who manage the funds, are seeking applications from businesses and community groups who would like to introduce and develop new and innovative ideas focussing around young people, crofting diversification, renewables and new activities for visitors and locals to enjoy and experience.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a new group to ensure women are better represented in farming.

The Women in Agriculture taskforce will look at issues including better access to training and progression within the agricultural industry and better succession planning. The group will be co-chaired by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing and Joyce Campbell, a farmer and entrepreneur based in North Sutherland.

A new funding round for the Agri-Environmental Climate Scheme (AECS) has been announced by Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham at the Royal Highland Show.

Agri-Environment, Diffuse Pollution and Organic schemes will open in January 2018, with a round for Improving Public Access expected to open in March.

The National Council of Rural Advisers has been annnounced by Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing.

The new Council will cover all aspects of future rural development, including appropriate financial support beyond 2022.

It will provide advice on the potential implications of Scotland leaving the European Union as part of the UK, and make recommendations on future policy and support, with the aim of ensuring a vibrant, sustainable and productive rural economy.

Announcing the new group ahead of the Royal Highland Show, Mr Ewing said:

LEADER information session at Royal Highland Show

Members from across the LEADER community are holding an information session during the Royal Highland Show.

Representation from across the 21 Local Action Groups as well as previous beneficiaries will be on hand to discuss how to access the substantial funding pot for rural Scotland. LEADER provides funding opportunities for farmers and a wide range of rural businesses.

The Rural Leadership Programme is being expanded to the Highlands and Islands.

Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have joined forces, giving people involved in rural businesses in the Highlands and Islands the opportunity to join the popular 13-day programme.  

The European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) and the company DeLaval are carrying out a survey on sustainable agriculture.

The survey is open to all young farmers across Europe and is available in seven languages. The survey aims to understand the needs of young farmers in order to implement a more sustainable agricultural sector and to find out how young farmers look at their future.

Farmers, crofters and land managers have until midnight on 15 May 2017 to submit their Single Application Form.

The Single Application Form is the form you need to fill in if you want to claim payments under the following schemes:

A new free online platform has launched to help more people make use of smart farming technologies.

The Smart Farming Platform has been launched by the Horizon 2020 thematic network Smart AKIS.