A LOCAL couple have been chosen to take over a 242-acre farm on the Applegirth Estate in Dumfries and Galloway.

Andrew and Suzanne Jardine have signed a ten-year lease with Crown Estate Scotland, who manage the estate, following a tendering process that attracted a number of applicants.

CES said that the Jardine’s bid offered the 'best business and environmental case' for the future of the livestock farm. The family was described as new entrants to the tenant farming sector, but with a wealth of experience in the local farming community. Mr Jardine has a number of years practical experience in agriculture including as assistant farm manager at Barony College and contracting work for local farmers.

The opportunity, which includes a three-bedroomed farmhouse, came to the tenanted market following the retiral of the previous tenant. The new tenants have come to an agreement with CES to ensure that they balance the need to maximise the potential of the farm, with ensuring the protection of the surrounding natural habitats.

CES head of property Andy Wells said: “We were hugely impressed by the application from the Jardine family, largely because they presented a clear and robust business strategy while they will also be bringing a young family to the farm.

“We’re really pleased to provide this opportunity for the Jardines to further develop the farm and incorporate emerging farming practice in their business. We look forward to working with them over the coming years.

“The selection of tenants is a complex process balancing business and environmental management of land, encouraging the next generation of farmers and the need to select tenants in an open and transparent way. With this farm, called New Farm, we introduced a new element to the process – an independent advisor– who provided an objective balance to the process.”

Mr Jardine said: “Coming from a local farming family, this tenancy is a fantastic opportunity for our family to both find a home and a farm business to manage and grow. The ten-year tenancy will give us the certainty to invest in the land and create a viable future for New Farm.”