Find out about Smallholding Scotland
Inspired by the Scottish Crofting Federation, a group of Scottish smallholders has set up a new organisation to represent and support their community.
Smallholding Scotland is a membership organisation promoting the sustainable and purposeful use of small land holdings and has recently achieved the status of Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).
The ten trustees who currently make up the board come from all over Scotland. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in smallholding but full membership (£20 per year) is only available to residents of Scotland. Details of how to join are on the Join Us page of the Smallholding Scotland website.
One of the first priorities of the organisation is to secure funding to establish a web-based information hub.
Angus-based trustee and secretary, Arnot Tippett said:
"Many smallholders come to land management as a second career and without formal training, and although they may have many skills, it is often difficult to access all the information needed to establish a successful smallholding. Smallholding Scotland aims to fill that gap with our information hub."
The organisation also aims to provide a voice for smallholders in national forums and to represent the sector to the Scottish Government, where one has been lacking until now.
Trustee and co-chair, Cath Livingstone, from Galashiels said:
"While Brexit is a big issue nationally, there are other issues of importance to smallholders too – access to good, local abattoir facilities, for example, and access to suitable grant funding to improve smallholdings. Smallholders already make a real contribution to the rural economy but with appropriate support, improvements can be made to further support biodiversity and local food production."
The trustees hope to build strong links with crofters and SCF, recognizing that while there are differences between the two groups, there are many areas of common interest, as well as other organisations with complementary aims and objectives.
Visit the Smallholding Scotland website to find out more.