Scottish Government introduces new land reform legislation with major implications for landowners

On 13th March 2024, the Scottish Government introduced the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill. The aim of this Bill is to reform the law around large landholdings and certain types of leases of land. The controversial Bill includes measures for landholding over 1,000 hectares including potentially prohibiting the sale of the land until Ministers have been consulted and the impact on the local community assessed.

Landholdings of over 1,000 hectares account for over 50% of Scotland’s land so this Bill could potentially have drastic effects on how land is managed. If a sale of a landholding over 1,000 hectares is deemed by the ministers to have a negative impact on local communities, the land could be divided into smaller portions. This would allow for communities to purchase smaller land areas and provide opportunities for other parties who would not be able to purchase land otherwise to have the chance of land ownership.

To tackle climate change and reach net zero, many landowners throughout the country have started work on peatland restoration projects, woodland creation, riparian woodland and more regenerative and environmentally friendly farming practices. If large landholdings are broken down into smaller parcels, there is a risk that these current cohesive and large scale projects will be slowed due to minister intervention and the requirement for agreements to be made between multiple landowners. This will potentially slow down the progress that is already being made to reach net zero.

The Bill also puts legal responsibilities on landowners to demonstrate how their land is being used to address public policy priorities, contributing to nature restoration and reducing the impact climate change. Many landowners are already managing their land in a way to address these issues already. There will be the requirement for landowners to engage with local communities about how they use the land.

The Bill also sheds light on a proposed new tenancy model called a “Land Management Tenancy” which the Ministers will publish, this is to support tenancy to manage the land within their tenancies in ways that meet their needs as well as the nation’s. Measures are also included to reform tenant farming, increase sustainability and productivity and to compensate tenants at the end of their agreements for their investment of time and resources.

The Bill can be read in full here.

The Scottish Government has also published the report on the findings of a consultation held as part of a Strategic Environmental Assessment of agricultural tenancies, small landholdings and land management tenancy proposals. Within this report it is stated that many respondents noted that there needs to be a balance between tenants’ rights and landlords’ long term security. The respondents have also stated that further guidance and consultation is needed regarded a new tenancy model.

The report and findings can be read here.

Our people

Hamish Hope

Hamish Hope

Surveyor, MRICS
Land Management
Tel: 01463 717 799

About: Hamish is an experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer, working across the Highlands with a focus on rural estate management from traditional sporting estates to diversifications. He is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University with MSc Real Estate Management and Investment. Interests: Estate Management, Sales & Lettings, Valuations, Domestic Energy Assessments.

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    Important Update: Changes in Scotland’s Private Rented Sector

    Since September 2022, there have been regulations in place to control rent increases and safeguard against evictions for privately let residential properties, established under the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022. However, effective April 1st, 2024, these restrictions, including the 3% rent increase cap, will be lifted.

    To mitigate the risk of significant rent hikes, pending parliamentary approval, the process for rent adjudication will be temporarily adjusted for one year, starting April 1st, 2024. This adjustment aims to provide a fair approach to resolving rent disputes during this transitional period.

    Here’s what landlords need to know about rent reviews in April:

    Private residential tenants can dispute a rent increase, with disputes reviewed by Rent Service Scotland or the First-tier Tribunal.

    Rent will be determined based on the lowest of three figures: the open market rate, the rent requested by the landlord, and a comparator based on the difference between the market rate and the current rate.

    Proposed regulations necessitate the use of a rent taper formula if a tenant applies for rent adjudication:

    *If the rent increase is 6% or less than the market rent, the landlord can increase the rent by the proposed amount.

    *If the gap between the market rent and the current rent exceeds 6%, the landlord can increase it by 6% plus 0.33% for each percent that the gap exceeds 6%. The total rent increase cannot exceed 12%.

    Read the Rent Adjudication (Temporary Modifications)(Scotland) Regulations 2024 here..

    As demand for rented property rises, many privately let properties with existing tenants now have below-market rent due to the 3% cap in place since 2022. This is likely to lead to widespread rent increases across the country, although the full impact on the market remains to be seen.

    Before these restrictions are lifted, further changes are set to take effect on March 1st, 2024, with new measures being added to the Repairing Standard, which applies to all privately let residential properties and Short Term Lets. These include:

    *Safe Kitchens

    *Fixed Heating System

    *Safe Access to Common Parts

    *Consent to Work on Common Parts

    *Safe and Secure Common Doors

    *Residual Current Devices

    *Properties must be free of lead pipes, or a water quality test must be carried out.

    *Other fuels, such as oil installations, must meet the same repair standards as gas and electricity installations.

    For full information regarding the changes to the Repairing Standard, click here. While many properties will already meet these additional requirements, there is a risk, primarily to older tenancies, that may not meet the new requirements, necessitating additional works.

    For further discussions on how these changes affect your property, please contact our professional letting agents at Bell Ingram.

    Our people

    Hamish Hope

    Hamish Hope

    Surveyor, MRICS
    Land Management
    Tel: 01463 717 799

    About: Hamish is an experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer, working across the Highlands with a focus on rural estate management from traditional sporting estates to diversifications. He is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University with MSc Real Estate Management and Investment. Interests: Estate Management, Sales & Lettings, Valuations, Domestic Energy Assessments.

    Get in touch

    We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

      Changes in Scotland’s Private Rented Sector

      Since September 2022, there have been regulations in place to control rent increases and safeguard against evictions for privately let residential properties, established under the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022. However, effective April 1st, 2024, these restrictions, including the 3% rent increase cap, will be lifted.

      To mitigate the risk of significant rent hikes, pending parliamentary approval, the process for rent adjudication will be temporarily adjusted for one year, starting April 1st, 2024. This adjustment aims to provide a fair approach to resolving rent disputes during this transitional period.

      Here’s what landlords need to know about rent reviews in April:

      Private residential tenants can dispute a rent increase, with disputes reviewed by Rent Service Scotland or the First-tier Tribunal.

      Rent will be determined based on the lowest of three figures: the open market rate, the rent requested by the landlord, and a comparator based on the difference between the market rate and the current rate.

      Proposed regulations necessitate the use of a rent taper formula if a tenant applies for rent adjudication:

      • If the rent increase is 6% or less than the market rent, the landlord can increase the rent by the proposed amount.

      • If the gap between the market rent and the current rent exceeds 6%, the landlord can increase it by 6% plus 0.33% for each percent that the gap exceeds 6%. The total rent increase cannot exceed 12%.

      Read the Rent Adjudication (Temporary Modifications)(Scotland) Regulations 2024 here..

      As demand for rented property rises, many privately let properties with existing tenants now have below-market rent due to the 3% cap in place since 2022. This is likely to lead to widespread rent increases across the country, although the full impact on the market remains to be seen.

      Before these restrictions are lifted, further changes are set to take effect on March 1st, 2024, with new measures being added to the Repairing Standard, which applies to all privately let residential properties and Short Term Lets. These include:

      • Safe Kitchens

      • Fixed Heating System

      • Safe Access to Common Parts

      • Consent to Work on Common Parts

      • Safe and Secure Common Doors

      • Residual Current Devices

      • Properties must be free of lead pipes, or a water quality test must be carried out.

      • Other fuels, such as oil installations, must meet the same repair standards as gas and electricity installations.

      For full information regarding the changes to the Repairing Standard, click here. While many properties will already meet these additional requirements, there is a risk, primarily to older tenancies, that may not meet the new requirements, necessitating additional works.

      For further discussions on how these changes affect your property, please contact our professional letting agents at Bell Ingram.

      Our people

      Hamish Hope

      Hamish Hope

      Surveyor, MRICS
      Land Management
      Tel: 01463 717 799

      About: Hamish is an experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer, working across the Highlands with a focus on rural estate management from traditional sporting estates to diversifications. He is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University with MSc Real Estate Management and Investment. Interests: Estate Management, Sales & Lettings, Valuations, Domestic Energy Assessments.

      Get in touch

      We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

        Bell Ingram Announces Promotion of Rhona Booth

        Bell Ingram, leading land and property management specialist, is pleased to announce a significant milestone within the organisation with the promotion of Senior Associate Rhona Booth to the position of Forfar Office Manager, effective April 1, 2024.

        Rhona’s elevation to this pivotal role reflects her unwavering dedication, extensive expertise, and profound understanding of the Angus and Perthshire farming communities, positioning her as the ideal choice to lead the Forfar office into a new era of success.

        With 20 years of experience as a highly accomplished RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer, Rhona has been an invaluable asset since joining Bell Ingram in 2020. Her exemplary skills in estate and farm management, coupled with her strategic acumen, have consistently driven business growth and forged enduring relationships with clients and partners alike.

        Rhona’s unparalleled knowledge and extensive network within the Angus farming community are standout qualities that will undoubtedly contribute to the continued expansion and prosperity of the Forfar office. Her deep understanding of the local landscape, combined with her established relationships, will be instrumental in solidifying Bell Ingram’s presence in the region and enhancing service delivery to clients.

        Bell Ingram’s Forfar office is situated in the heart of the Angus’ agricultural community and provides a full spectrum of advice to clients on farm valuation, land management, farm sales and opportunities surrounding renewables.

        While assuming the day-to-day responsibilities of managing the Forfar office, Rhona will collaborate closely with Senior Partner Malcolm Taylor, who will retain overall control. Malcolm’s strategic guidance will complement Rhona’s local expertise, ensuring an approach that maximises Bell Ingram’s impact in the region.

        Mark Mitchell, Managing Partner at Bell Ingram, said: “Rhona’s commitment to our company’s goals, coupled with her proven track record, makes her the ideal choice for this role. I have full confidence that under Rhona’s leadership, the Forfar office will achieve new heights of success.”

        Our people

        Rhona Booth

        Rhona Booth

        Senior Associate, MRICS
        Rural Land Management
        Tel: 01307 462516

        About: Rhona is a highly experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer working across Perthshire and Angus advising on all aspects of estate and farm management, including landlord and tenant negotiations, telecommunication mast agreements, utility projects and CPO compensation claims. In addition, Rhona can undertake a range of rural valuations for a variety of purposes as a Registered Valuer. Rhona joined Bell Ingram in 2020 and has over 20 years’ experience in the sector. Interests: Rural Land Management, Valuations, Utilities, Renewable Energy, Agricultural Tenancy Advisor, MRICS Registered Valuer.

        Get in touch

        We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

          People make Inverness one of the happiest places to live in Scotland

          Inverness was among the happiest places to live in Scotland during 2023.

          Each year online property portal Rightmove asks people to share what makes them happy about where they live, and what they believe makes it special. Its Happy at Home Index, now in its 12th year, surveyed 26,000 people across the UK to gauge their opinion of their area based on 13 happiness factors.

          From residents’ sense of pride and belonging to the local services and amenities on offer, Rightmove then pulled together a list of the happiest places to live in the UK based on the scores people gave their local area.

          For the second year in a row Galashiels took the top spot as the “happiest” place to live in Scotland, with Inverness following a close second.

          According to the survey, it’s often less tangible things such as community spirit as well as a sense of belonging which contribute toward people’s opinions of their homes, though for 2023 living near green spaces and natural beauty was another highlight.

          Commenting on the survey, Joanne Stennett from Bell Ingram’s Highland office said: “My family were lucky enough to relocate to the area 12 years ago from the West Coast. I must say it is the best move we have ever made. We have beaches and mountains within easy reach as well as lochs for swimming and bike tracks in the forests. The airport also allows us to fly to various destinations within the UK and abroad.”

          But it’s not just the friendly locals that makes the region worth visiting, Inverness offers a host of appealing factors that make it an attractive location for homebuyers.

          Natural Beauty and Tranquil Lifestyle: Inverness-shire is known for its stunning natural landscapes, featuring dramatic mountains and picturesque lochs. If you value a low stress lifestyle and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors, buying a home in Inverness-shire provides the opportunity to enjoy these scenic surroundings daily. The region offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

          Outdoor Recreation Opportunities: Inverness-shire is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy hiking, golfing, biking, fishing, or water sports, the region provides a plethora of recreational opportunities. Having a home in Inverness-shire means easy access to walking trails, and various outdoor activities, contributing to a healthy and active lifestyle.

          Rich Cultural Heritage and History: Inverness-shire has a rich historical and cultural heritage, with landmarks, castles, and museums that showcase its fascinating past.

          Community Atmosphere: Many towns and villages in Inverness-shire and surrounding areas offer a strong sense of community. Buying a home in such an area can provide a supportive and welcoming environment. Local events, festivals, and community activities foster a sense of belonging, making it easier to connect with neighbours and build lasting relationships.

          Quality of Life and Amenities: Inverness-shire provides a high quality of life with a good balance of modern amenities and a peaceful atmosphere. Inverness offers shopping centres, schools, healthcare facilities, and other essential services, ensuring that residents have access to everything they need. Additionally, the region’s well-maintained infrastructure contributes to a comfortable living experience.

          Before making a decision to buy a home, it’s crucial to consider factors such as your personal preferences, lifestyle, and long-term goals. Conducting thorough research and potentially visiting the area can help you make an informed choice that aligns with your needs and aspirations.

           

           

          Our people

          Joanne Stennett

          Joanne Stennett

          Associate
          Estate Agency
          Tel: 01463 717 799

          About: Joanne heads up the Estate Agency team in our Beauly office and is focused on ensuring her clients have a positive experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. From country houses to farms and estates, she has been marketing prime residential property in the Highlands and Islands for over 17 years. Joanne is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

          Get in touch

          We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

            Visitors rank Scotland’s most desirable locations – and Mull tops the list

            Looking for your next move? Office space consultancy Freeofficefinder.com has ranked the most desirable places to live in Scotland using the number of views each location received on TikTok – and Mull tops the list!

            With more and more people working from home these days, relocating to a picturesque Scottish island offers open green spaces, good for the soul, a space to boost mental health, a place to spend more quality time with family while at work.

            Mull is a spectacular island, a wonderful place for those looking to escape a high-paced lifestyle. To the north of the island, Tobermory is famous for its colourful painted houses, a picturesque coastal town with a thriving social scene. Heading further south, the Ross of Mull offers stunning coastal views, where pink granite rocks meet crystal clear seas, creating a dramatic landscape.

            Mull Property Expert Andrew Fuller, Bell Ingram Oban, explains, “I’ve been living on the Isle of Mull since 2016, having spent a lot of my childhood holidays exploring the island. It truly is a wonderful place to live and work, with plenty of community events and activities to get involved with. I’m able to guide clients who are looking to relocate to Mull, offering advice on the many quirks of island living.

            “Employment opportunities are regularly advertised on the island, however we also seeing many clients opting to work from home, the perfect work/life balance. Families moving to Mull will find good educational options for their children, with several primary schools located around island, and a high school in Tobermory. There is also a property type to suit every budget, from one-bedroom coastal flats to grand estate houses.

            “Most properties in this area offer incredible value when compared to other regions in the UK. The leisurely pace of life and the breathtaking surroundings combine to create a tapestry of adventures, making every single moment truly worthwhile.”

            But it’s not just mesmerising views and astonishing wildlife that makes the Scotland’s islands worth visiting, both Mull and Islay in particular offer a raft of appealing factors that make them an attractive location for homebuyers. Here are five reasons to consider trying island life:

            Scenic Beauty: Mull is known for its breathtaking landscapes, including rugged coastlines, rolling hills, and picturesque lochs. The island is home to diverse wildlife, including sea eagles, seals, and otters. If you appreciate natural beauty and tranquillity, buying a house in Mull allows you to immerse yourself in stunning surroundings.

            Outdoor Recreation: Mull provides abundant opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and water sports. With numerous trails, coastal paths, and waterways to explore, residents can enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle in a pristine natural environment.

            Island Community: Mull has a close-knit and welcoming community. If you’re looking for a place where people know each other, and there’s a strong sense of community spirit, Mull might just be the ideal location. The welcoming population contributes to a friendly atmosphere and a sense of belonging.

            Rich History and Culture: Mull has a rich history, with ancient castles, archaeological sites, and traditional Scottish culture. Living in Mull allows you to immerse yourself in the local history and traditions, providing a unique and enriching cultural experience.

            Escape from Urban Life: If you’re seeking a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Mull offers a serene escape. With a slower pace of life, clean air, and minimal light pollution, you can enjoy a more relaxed and laid-back lifestyle on the island.

            Keep in mind that while Mull has its unique charm, it’s essential to thoroughly research the practical aspects of island living, such as transportation, amenities, and local services, before making a decision to relocate.

            Here are the seven “most desirable places to live” in Scotland according to the research.

            Isle of Mull, Argyll and Bute

            Braemar, Aberdeenshire

            Craigellachie, Moray

            Isle of Islay, Argyll and Bute

            Killearn, Stirling

            Gullane, East Lothian

            Elie, Fife

            *Source Freeofficefinder.com

            Contact Andrew, Laura or Mairi to arrange your no obligation market appraisal. Tel: 01631 566 122 or oban@bellingram.co.uk

            Our people

            Andrew Fuller

            Andrew Fuller

            Senior Associate
            Estate Agency
            Tel: 01631 566 122

            About: Andrew heads up the Estate Agency team in our Oban office and is focused on ensuring his clients have a first-class experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. A resident of the Isle of Mull, Andrew is very well known across the West Coast of Scotland and has developed an excellent reputation for marketing prime residential property, including plots, crofts, island homes and lifestyle opportunities. Andrew joined Bell Ingram following almost 15 years managing several high-level private and commercial development projects in the United Arab Emirates. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

            Get in touch

            We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

              Booking.com ranks the most welcoming places on earth – and Perthshire tops the list

              Looking for your next move? Booking.com has revealed a full list of the most welcoming places in the world – and Perthshire in Scotland takes first place.

              The ranking by the popular online travel agency placed the county first, with Penghu, Taiwan in second place, followed by Boyacá, Colombia, in third.

              The list was identified based on the share of accommodation providers receiving a Traveller Review Award 2024* from Booking.com.

              Perthshire Property Expert Carl Warden, Bell Ingram’s Head of Estate Agency, says: “There are so many attractive features that make Perthshire such a draw for purchasers, many of whom are coming from across the border. The recent lockdown has focussed so much attention on quiet and peaceful locations, with open space and the ability to work remotely. Perth and the surrounding areas are perfect for this and I am delighted to offer so many lovely properties to the market.”

              But it’s not just friendly locals that makes the region worth visiting, Perthshire offers several appealing factors that make it an attractive location for homebuyers looking for property for sale in Perthshire. Here are five reasons to consider buying a home in what locals call “the Big County”:

              Natural Beauty and Tranquil Lifestyle:

              Perthshire is known for its stunning natural landscapes, featuring rolling hills, picturesque lochs, and lush greenery. If you value a tranquil lifestyle and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors, buying a home in Perthshire provides the opportunity to enjoy these scenic surroundings daily. The region offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

              Outdoor Recreation Opportunities:

              Perthshire is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy hiking, golfing, fishing, or water sports, the region provides a plethora of recreational opportunities. Having a home in Perthshire means easy access to nature reserves, walking trails, and various outdoor activities, contributing to a healthy and active lifestyle.

              Rich Cultural Heritage and History:

              Perthshire has a rich historical and cultural heritage, with landmarks, castles, and museums that showcase its fascinating past. Owning a home in Perthshire means being surrounded by history, giving you the chance to explore and appreciate the region’s heritage. Scone Palace, Blair Castle, and the historic town of Dunkeld are just a few examples of the cultural gems in Perthshire.

              Community Atmosphere:

              Many towns and villages in Perthshire offer a strong sense of community. Buying a home in such an area can provide a supportive and welcoming environment. Local events, festivals, and community activities foster a sense of belonging, making it easier to connect with neighbours and build lasting relationships.

              Quality of Life and Amenities:

              Perthshire provides a high quality of life with a good balance of modern amenities and a peaceful atmosphere. Cities like Perth offer shopping centres, schools, healthcare facilities, and other essential services, ensuring that residents have access to everything they need. Additionally, the region’s well-maintained infrastructure contributes to a comfortable living experience.

              Before making a decision to buy a home, it’s crucial to consider factors such as your personal preferences, lifestyle, and long-term goals. Conducting thorough research and potentially visiting the area can help you make an informed choice that aligns with your needs and aspirations.

              The 10 most welcoming regions on Earth

              Perthshire, Scotland

              Penghu, Taiwan

              Boyacá, Colombia

              Trentino – Alto Adige, Italy

              Los Lagos, Chile

              Erongo, Namibia

              Otago, New Zealand

              Lapland, Finland

              Asturias, Spain

              Friesland, Netherlands

              *Source: Booking.com

              To arrange your no obligation market appraisal, contact Carl Warden on 01738 621 121.

              Our people

              Carl Warden

              Carl Warden

              Partner
              Estate Agency
              Tel: 01738 621 121

              About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

              Get in touch

              We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                Contract Farming Agreements – what to consider

                By Douglas Ogilvie, Farming Consultant

                Farmers need to respond to the challenges of increasing productivity, innovation, climate crisis, extreme weather and unknown policy changes that will hopefully help boost sustainable food production while supporting the environment.

                One way is for a landowner or tenant, while remaining in complete control of their business and being an active farmer, to harness the management skills, labour, machinery, sometimes breeding livestock and technology of another farmer.

                A Contract Farming Agreement is a straightforward Agreement whereby a Landowner or Occupier (the Farmer) engages the services of another Farmer or Contractor (the Contractor) on pre-arranged terms.

                These agreements can be extremely flexible, prospectively long term and many agreements have been going for over 30 years.

                The agreements are subject to the law of contract, and it is critical that these are properly drafted. There are many instances of agreements running into difficulties during inspections because of inadequate documentation or incorrect supervision.

                It is vital therefore, that the documentation is correctly drawn up and supervised. Agreements work better with a third-party adviser being a facilitator and prevent problems festering. The adviser helps prevent mistakes, parties behaving contrary to the agreement, or it being found a sham.

                Contract Farming Agreements should be distinguished from other agreements such as tenancies, partnerships, employment agreements, share farming and short term lets.

                The Farmer usually provides:

                • The land

                • The buildings

                • Fixed equipment (eg. grain drier), although sometimes the Contractor will provide these facilities

                • Single Farm Payment, LFASS, SSBSS, SUSSS and in certain cases AECS

                • Finance to administer the agreement

                • Short and long-term policy objectives

                The Contractor usually provides:

                • Labour

                • Machinery and all associated costs

                • Breeding livestock and replacements although these can also be provided by the Farmer.

                • Management expertise to implement the farming policy

                Variable Costs and Fixed Costs

                All variable costs are paid by the No. 2 Account. The Contractor pays for all his own labour and power costs. The remaining fixed costs are paid out of the No. 2 Account and may include:

                Livestock

                Breeding livestock can be owned by either the Farmer or the Contractor.

                Finding a Contractor

                Finding the right contractor this is the most important key to a successful long-term agreement, not the financial reward.

                Finally

                These agreements work extremely well for both parties for all enterprises whether arable or livestock. They are extremely popular and very flexible.

                For further information

                Contact Douglas Ogilvie who has over 37 years’ experience of Contract Farming Agreements or one of the Bell Ingram team in your local office. Tel. 01738 621 121.

                Our people

                Douglas Ogilvie

                Douglas Ogilvie

                Farm Management Consultant
                Rural Land Management
                Tel: 01738 621 121

                About: Douglas has been involved in providing strategic farm management consultancy to private clients and public bodies in Scotland from the Borders and Lanarkshire up to Sutherland and the Highlands and Islands since 1987. Douglas is renowned for his experience in setting up, providing documentation and managing over 30 arable and livestock Contract Farming Agreements, managing farms, advising on BPS, LFASS, AECS and completing subsidy applications. Douglas joined Bell Ingram in October 2023. Interests: Farm Management.

                Get in touch

                We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                  First class portfolio of farms comes to market in Stirlingshire

                  A large portfolio of farms in Stirlingshire including agricultural land and six dwellings has come to the open market.

                  Rural Estate Agents, Bell Ingram is marketing the farms, which total 513.5 hectare (1,268.70 acres), as a whole at offers over £8,450,000 or in six individual lots.

                  Bonnyhill Farm, Dykehead & Seabegs and Bonnyside Farm are all located within close proximity of the town of Bonnybridge and within about three miles of centre of Falkirk.

                  The main farming units at Bonnybridge are used as a base for a dairy enterprise whilst the farms and land further east, near Larbert and Falkirk, are used mainly for the rearing of beef cattle and also for the growing of arable crops. The farms also include areas of woodland and include a number of dwellings and farm buildings.

                  Estate Agent, Carl Warden comments on the sale: “We kick off the 2024 farm sales market with this large portfolio of businesses in Central Scotland. These first-class farming properties are currently used for a variety of different agricultural enterprises including dairy, beef cattle, arable crops and woodland. This sale presents an excellent opportunity for a diverse farming business looking to expand production.”

                  Lot 1 – Bonnyhill Farm Dairy is a first-class dairy farm with a range of purpose-built dairy buildings and equipment, principal farmhouse and two detached modern bungalows. It extends to about 96.20 hectares (237.60 acres) and is the base for a 270-cow dairy herd. It has an asking price of offers over £2,300,000.

                  Lot 2Dykehead and Seabegs farms include a cottage, outbuildings, farmland and woodland – 67.30 hectares (166.40 acres). It also includes an area of land at Reilly Road, which is held under Option. The land parcels are divided by railway lines and also by the Forth and Clyde Canal. Offers over £870,000.

                  Lot 3 – Bonnyside Farm including outbuildings and land lies to the north of Bonnyhill Farm and adjacent to the village of Bonnybridge. The farm and land, extending to about 108.10 hectares (267.00 acres), currently operates in conjunction with the dairy enterprise and includes a farmhouse and two farm buildings which lie within the village. Offers over £1,550,000.

                  Lot 4 – Househill Farm – 158.70 hectares (392.10 acres) including principal farmhouse, outbuildings and a range of land.  The farm is used as a base for a beef farming enterprise. It lies to the west of Larbert and to the southwest of the Forth Valley Hospital, adjacent to the M876 road. Offers over £2,700,000.

                  Lot 5 – Arable land at Hardilands extending to approximately 62.80 hectares (155.10 acres).  Lying to the south of the Kincardine Bridge and to the northeast of Skinflats, within close proximity to the River Forth, it has an asking price of Offers over £750,000.

                  Lot 6 – Arable land at Inches extending to approximately 20.40 hectares (50.50 acres) in all and lies to the north of Larbert. Offers over £280,000.

                  For more information or to arrange a viewing please contact Carl Warden on 01738 621121 or email carl.warden@bellingram.co.uk.

                  Our people

                  Carl Warden

                  Carl Warden

                  Partner
                  Estate Agency
                  Tel: 01738 621 121

                  About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

                  Get in touch

                  We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                    New UKFS edition released after comprehensive review

                    By Sam Guthrie, Forester

                    A new (5th) edition of the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) has been published following an extensive review process.

                    This latest update reflects the improvements in scientific knowledge, developments in international approaches to forestry, new or amended legislation, and new information about best forestry practice.

                    Enforced across all four UK nations, the UKFS is the reference standard for all foresters to follow, ensuring new forests and woodlands are sustainable – balancing environmental, economic, and social interests. It applies to all woodland, regardless of who owns or manages it.

                    A prerequisite for the approval of forest plans, felling and replanting operations, woodland creation proposals and forestry grants, is that forest owners, managers and contractors are responsible for ensuring that forest operations and activities are delivered in accordance with the UKFS.

                    Additionally, the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) certification builds on the foundations set out by the UKFS. Benefits of achieving certification can include higher prices and easier movement of certified timber.

                    But what does it all mean for forest managers?

                    As you might expect given government emphasis on tackling climate change and nature loss, sustainability is front and centre of this refresh, with biosecurity, tree pests and deer control at the heart of this new edition.

                    Importantly, the guidance aims to make forests more resilient to a changing climate and the increased risk of pests and diseases so they can continue to deliver multiple benefits.

                    Where necessary, good practice requirements have been amended or added to encourage more direct action to ensure forests remain, healthy, vibrant habitats providing timber and a range of environmental benefits to help meet net-zero ambitions.

                     Key changes include:

                    • The maximum proportion of a single species specified will be reduced from 75% to 65%. This will further diversify the range of species in woodland creation and restocking. Forest Plans submitted after October 1st 2024 will be required to show a transition to the new proportions over time.

                    • Requirements to use deer management plans more widely to reduce browsing pressure to acceptable levels and enable the use of natural regeneration.

                    • Requirements to plan and implement biosecurity measures across managed land to reduce the risk of introducing or spreading pests and diseases.

                    A 12-month transition period is now in place to allow guidance to be updated, users to become familiar with the new edition, and draft woodland plans to be finalised. It will be applied from October 1st 2024.

                    The new (5th) edition of the UKFS is available on the Scottish Forestry website.

                    Our people

                    Sam Guthrie

                    Sam Guthrie

                    Forester
                    Forestry Management
                    Tel: 01738 621 121

                    About: Sam works across Scotland with a focus on delivering woodland management projects on the ground for a range of corporate and private clients. He has seven years’ experience in the sector and began his forestry career as a planter. Sam is currently studying for a PDA in Forestry Operations from the Scottish School of Forestry. Interests: Woodland Creation, Silviculture, Ecological Restoration.

                    Get in touch

                    We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                      Harnessing financial opportunities: Landowners and carbon offset strategies in woodland creation schemes

                      By Stuart McArtney, Forest Manager

                      In the global effort to mitigate climate change, carbon offsetting has emerged as a critical tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Landowners, especially those with large expanses of undeveloped land, are presented with unique financial opportunities through participation in woodland creation schemes. However, as with any burgeoning market, there are considerations and potential pitfalls that demand careful navigation to ensure sustainable and ethical practices.

                      Carbon offsetting involves compensating for one’s carbon footprint by investing in projects that reduce or capture an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Woodland creation schemes, a subset of carbon offset programs, focus on planting trees to sequester carbon and enhance biodiversity.

                      Landowners can benefit financially from participating in woodland creation schemes through various mechanisms. Governments often offer incentives such as grants and subsidies to convert their properties into carbon sinks. These financial incentives can significantly offset the costs associated with planting and maintaining woodlands.

                      Investing in land for the explicit purpose of carbon offsetting has become an attractive option for environmentally conscious investors and businesses. However, the acquisition process requires careful consideration of ecological factors, regulatory requirements, and long-term commitment. Sustainable practices must be prioritised to ensure the effectiveness of the carbon offsetting initiative.

                      Distorting the market:

                      As the demand for carbon offsetting increases, there is a risk of market distortion. Some critics argue that the commodification of carbon may lead to speculative practices, where land is acquired solely for financial gain rather than genuine environmental impact. This raises concerns about the sincerity of carbon offset projects and the potential for greenwashing.

                      Ensuring ethical practices:

                      To maintain the integrity of woodland creation schemes, landowners must adopt ethical and sustainable practices. This may include selecting native tree species, implementing proper land management techniques, and engaging with local communities. Transparency and accountability in reporting carbon sequestration efforts are crucial to building trust in the market.

                      Collaboration and Certification:

                      Landowners should consider collaborating with reputable organisations and obtaining certification through the Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) to provide assurance that projects adhere to rigorous environmental and social criteria.

                      In conclusion, the financial opportunities for landowners in the realm of carbon offsetting, particularly through woodland creation schemes, are vast. However, it is essential for stakeholders to approach this market with a commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. By carefully navigating the complexities of acquisition, market dynamics, and ecological considerations, landowners can play a pivotal role in combatting climate change while reaping the financial rewards of responsible carbon offset initiatives.

                      • Bell Ingram offers a comprehensive range of specialist forestry services to clients across Scotland. To find out more go to our website bellingram.co.uk or phone 01738 621 121 to speak to a member of our forestry team.

                      Our people

                      Stuart McArtney

                      Stuart McArtney

                      Associate, BSc For MICFor
                      Forestry Management
                      Tel: 01738 621 121

                      About: Stuart is a highly experienced Forest Manager working across Scotland advising private, corporate and public sector clients on all aspects of forestry and project management. Stuart joined Bell Ingram in 2014 and specialises in new woodland creation schemes. He is also highly experienced in GIS mapping. Interests: Forestry, Mapping & GIS Services, Woodland Management.

                      Get in touch

                      We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                        Thriving café business and home for sale on popular tourism Isle

                        A rare opportunity to acquire a thriving café and gift shop business together with a large Victorian stone-built three-bedroom house in a popular tourist destination in the northwest of the Isle of Lewis has arisen.

                        Highlands & Islands Estate Agent, Bell Ingram is delighted to bring The Wobbly Dog Café and residential opportunity to the market for offers over £290,000.

                        The sale of the Wobbly Dog Café is a superb opportunity to acquire a thriving and profitable business in a popular tourist destination on the Isle of Lewis. It is an ideal purchase for someone looking to take on a thriving business adjacent to their home.

                        Established in 2019, it has consistently high ratings on Google and TripAdvisor, the cafe/shop maintains much of the original style and charm of yesteryear, with original heavy wooden counter, glass display cases and fitted shelving. All fixtures, fittings and equipment are included in the sale.

                        There are rural views across croft land towards the Atlantic on the west and the Minch on the east making the eatery a popular destination with tourists looking for lunch with a view.

                        Attached to the café is a spacious three-bedroom home which has been upgraded throughout while at the same time retaining the charm of some original features.  In addition to a sitting room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor, there are two further bedrooms and WC on the upper floor. The kitchen has a Rangemaster gas cooker and attractive Fired Earth tiling on the floor.

                        Commenting on the property, Estate Agent, Joanne Stennett says: “The Isle of Lewis is a favourite holiday destination and the café and residential property offer an excellent opportunity to have a change of lifestyle and take on a thriving business in this beautiful part of Scotland”.

                        For more information, or to arrange a viewing contact Joanne Stennett on 01463 717799 or email joanne.stennett@bellingram.co.uk 

                        Our people

                        Joanne Stennett

                        Joanne Stennett

                        Associate
                        Estate Agency
                        Tel: 01463 717 799

                        About: Joanne heads up the Estate Agency team in our Beauly office and is focused on ensuring her clients have a positive experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. From country houses to farms and estates, she has been marketing prime residential property in the Highlands and Islands for over 17 years. Joanne is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                        Get in touch

                        We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct