AS WE head towards the end of Q2, it would be appropriate to review the current farmland in Scotland through two different lenses, as there are two distinctly different stories to tell in respect of firstly lowland farms and secondly upland farms.

Overall the market ‘feels’ quiet, particularly in the lowlands, with the advertised supply at the end of Q1 down 23% on 2021, but with a total of 7000 acres plus of farmland due to be launched by the mid-point of the year through Savills.

Three words sum up the market –


We know that when there is uncertainty the market stalls and there is much to be uncertain about. Whilst the war in Ukraine may result in a bumper year for some cereal farmers in the UK, no-one really has an idea if high commodity prices will be sustained and counter increasing input cost for the 2023 harvest and beyond. The position regarding future agricultural support in Scotland remains unclear giving farmers little to base their future plans upon.


However we continue to see where golden opportunities arise, farmers are keen to acquire additional acres or relocate to a more productive area and lock into attractive rates of borrowing which are still on offer (but for how much longer?) The sale of Gilrivie (350 acres) near Montrose on the east coast launched in early March and was under offer by mid-April at a price reflecting last year’s phenomenal growth in values, albeit there were less bidders than there might have been 12 months ago.


Much of the action would appear to be further up the hill with class 4, 5 & 6 land being targeted for commercial afforestation. Values continue to creep up tempting some to sell all or, in many cases part, of their holding, enabling sellers to reduce borrowings or buy better acres nearby. This fuelled demand for planting land is not only having an effect up the hill but is continuing to have an influence on values further down.

The demand for natural capital, in particular land suitable for native woodland creation and peatland restoration is driven by the potential for carbon sequestration, continues. Committed sporting buyers may now have to compete with a broader range of buyers to acquire an estate, but are reassured that there is an alternative use of the land underpinning its value.