PITLOCHRY-BASED farmer Patrick Barbour has been named Scotland's climate friendly carbon champion, fending off strong competition from entries across the country.

The competition – organised by NFU Scotland's Next Generation group and supported by RBS – encouraged farmers and crofters to film the steps they are taking to reduce emissions and deliver wider environmental benefits on-farm.

Mr Barbour, of Mains of Fincastle, near Pitlochry, wowed the judges with a three-minute video which has been described as a 'perfect advert for Scottish farming', illustrating the benefits of tree planting, species rich grassland, rotational grazing for cattle and sheep and stitching nitrogen fixing crops into pastures.

As a prize, Mr Barbour is now the proud owner of a state-of-the-art drone with a tailored un-manned aerial vehicle (UAV) upload and satellite imagery package from SoilEssentials.

“We're really pleased to win this as a family," said Mr Barbour, who's sister Catherine and brother Robert also appear in the video to describe the family farm's approach to sustainable farming: "It's great for us to be able to share what we've been doing on the family farm here at Fincastle, and I hope people enjoy the video.”

Judge and NFUS Next Generation chair Pete Moss commented: “Congratulations to Patrick on winning NFU Scotland’s climate change competition and becoming Scotland’s climate friendly farming champion. This competition has highlighted what we already know – that the Next Generation of Scotland’s farmers, crofters, and growers are prepared and already taking steps to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises in innovative ways. Thank you to everyone who entered this competition, and to our partners, Royal Bank of Scotland, for their support on this initiative.”

Fellow judge and political affairs editor at The Scottish Farmer, Claire Taylor, added: “I was blown away by the quality of applications we received and the impressive ways in which Scottish farmers across the country are addressing climate change and biodiversity losses on their farms.

“From tree planting to improving livestock health; precision farming to planting cover crops; soil testing, to investing in renewables, the list goes on. With farming coming under fire in climate change discussions, Patrick Barbour’s video entry was the perfect advert for the industry, championing the efforts he has taken at Fincastle to increase carbon capture and boost biodiversity in a way that is both inspiring and achievable for others to replicate within their own systems.”

Director of Agriculture at RBS, Roddy McLean, concluded: “ We’re proud to have been able to support NFU Scotland in its search for Scotland’s climate friendly farming champion. It’s really encouraging to see how Patrick is taking action to reduce emissions to help protect the environment and making their business more resilient. Hopefully, this prize will help Patrick make further climate gains and we’d like to congratulate them on their win today.”

The video is available to watch at: https://vimeo.com/541541773