The Scottish Smallholder Festival is on the move!

Two sheep being inspected in agriculture competition
Alan Robertson

The 2023 Scottish Smallholder Festival will move to the Royal Highland Centre, signalling the importance of smallholding to the agricultural scene in Scotland.

The organisers of the festival, Smallholding Scotland, have signed a three-year deal with the Royal Highland Centre to run the event each year in October, with this year’s festival taking place on the 14th October 2023. The move has been made possible with the support of the Scottish Government.

Mairi Gougeon MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and the Islands said: 

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting smallholders and the role they can play in delivering our Vision for Agriculture and the sustainable production of high quality food. The closure of Forfar Mart was a real blow to Scottish smallholders and rural communities on the east coast - impacting not only the farming community in that area, but also the wider rural economy.

“That’s why we’re providing further funding to the 12th Scottish Smallholder Festival to help the organisation move to the flagship national central venue for Scottish agriculture.

“Celebrating the very best that this part of the agricultural industry has to offer, the event provides attendees the opportunity to engage in seminars and knowledge exchange and showcase their products and livestock.”

Now in its twelfth year, the Scottish Smallholder Festival is Scotland’s national smallholding show - a chance for small-scale producers and growers to come together at the end of the season to celebrate a successful year of production, and to gather ideas for next year. It also provides an opportunity for all to display their products and benchmark their success against other small producers.

Mark Currie, Director of Operations, Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland said:

“I am pleased that Scotland’s National Smallholding Festival has made its home at the Royal Highland Centre. RHASS as a charity, is dedicated in supporting the very best standards in agriculture, forestry and rural Scotland. The addition of Scotland’s Smallholder Festival to the Royal Highland Centre’s portfolio supports this mission and we look forward to working with them over the next three years.”

Chair of Trustees for Smallholding Scotland, Martin Beard, said,

“We are really excited to be moving to the Royal Highland Centre - it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work over the last twelve years to make the event a real fixture on the agricultural calendar in Scotland.

“Our vision has always been to offer a window into the fantastic efforts of the many thousands of smallholders and crofters across the country, and by teaming up with the Royal Highland Centre we believe that the next few years will see the Festival getting bigger and better, helping us with our ongoing aim to inform, educate and inspire.

“We could not deliver the festival without the fantastic support we receive from the Scottish Government team that has been working with us for the last few years. We would also like to thank our sponsors and the traders and entrants who make it all possible”.

The relocation of this popular event to the Highland Hall at the Royal Highland Centre means there’s more capacity in 2023 for livestock showing, exhibitions, competition entries and traders, with a bigger than ever programme of seminars and demonstrations.

The latest information, show schedules and entry forms can all be found on the Scottish Smallholder Festival website - - which is now live. Tickets for this years event, on Saturday 14th October, are also on sale now on the festival website, with an ‘early bird’ rate of £7.50 running until the end of August.