Rural organisations are uniting in opposition to the hardline green agenda within the Bute House agreement which welds the SNP and Green party together in government.

Scotland’s largest farmer organisation NFU Scotland, the National Sheep Association and Scottish Land and Estates have called for the agreement to be dissolved unless the Green party changes course.

NFUS president Martin Kennedy led the charge: “The hardening of the green agenda is imposing too much on productive agriculture and people’s mental health. Issues like sea eagles that are spreading across Scotland is having a massive impact of family farms.

"We need action on the exponential rise of species which do not have an apex predator and which we can no longer manage. We know that the explosion in badger numbers is killing ground nesting birds, but when we explain the facts it is falling on deaf ears.

"Under the Bute House agreement, that pendulum has now swung in the wrong direction which not only threatens the viability of some rural businesses but, in some cases, has also put at risk some of the things we are trying to protect.”

After Mr Kennedy met the Green MSP and circular economy minister, Lorna Slater, at the Royal Highland Show, he said: “To be honest it felt like she wasn’t aware of these issues. So we explained the facts clearly and we are offering visits to farms across Scotland to how these policies are affecting the countryside.

"Unless things change, this can not continue. They need a reality check and the Bute House agreement is losing the support of farmers and crofters.

The National Sheep Association also wants a hardening against the Green agenda in Scotland, and said the Scottish Government wais risking turning thousands of farmers and crofters away from delivering valuable environmental outputs.

Peter Myles, NSA Scotland's chairman, said: “Sheep farmers see red with a forced green agenda, we have to largely agree that partners in the Bute House agreement are enforcing a draconian approach to land managed and enhanced by farmers over hundreds of years, interfering with the work and lives of the indigenous people in the hill’s glens and islands of Scotland.

"No one cares more for the biodiversity of the soils and the natural environment than those who try to make their living from it. This bureaucratic need for control is counterproductive.

"Allow and support people to make a decent living in these remote and deprived areas and the indigenous framers and crofters who have nurtured for generations the iconic Scottish landscape will tick all the green boxes as a matter of course.”

NSA's chief executive, Phil Stocker, called recent discussions on rewilding, afforestation and species introductions as part of the ‘dark green agenda’ and that ‘policy signals are distorted’.

Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land and Estates, said the recent decision to not permit the bracken herbicide, Asulox, was the ‘tipping point for many, but just the latest challenge facing rural businesses’.

"We are seeing more and more examples of flawed decision-making from the Scottish Government, one of which has resulted in SLE seeking a judicial review on the decision to halt any evictions or rent caps in the private rented sector," she aaid.

“Similarly, the Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill currently making its way through parliament is another classic example of badly drafted legislation that if enacted in its current form would lead to a host of unintended consequences for decades to come. We believe forthcoming land reform legislation may also follow a similar path, with detrimental consequences for Scottish agriculture as well.

“We respect the right of the Scottish Government to pursue its legislative programme but the fact that rural voices are being marginalised and evidence is being ignored on the basis that a policy commitment appeared in the Bute House Agreement and must be adhered to, should concern everyone living and working in rural areas.”

For the Green Party, Ariane Burgess, commented: “Scotland’s farmers perhaps more than any other sector play one of the most important roles for our nation in providing food security and highly skilled, often rural jobs. We fully recognise that they are facing multiple challenges caused by Brexit, being let down time and time again by the Tory government at Westminster, and the economic stresses caused by the failing UK economy.

“But the climate and nature emergencies pose an existential threat to both the industry and our society, if we don’t step up to the challenge and make the significant changes needed, particularly in how we use our land and produce our food.

“We acknowledge the pace and scale of change can be daunting, but that’s why a team effort is required more than ever. With Scottish Greens in government, our co-operation agreement has provided record funding for nature restoration projects.

“It also commits to significant support through initiatives like Regional Land Use Partnerships, which bring together land managers across sectors to devise ways to tackle the climate and nature emergencies at a landscape level.

“Scotland has also led the way in reintroducing the iconic beaver to our river ways, to the extent where England and Wales are now following suit and receiving many of the beavers which have been removed under licence from problem areas.

“NatureScot is also working with farmers on issues such as lamb loss in upland areas, showing simple measures, like lambing in polytunnels, can have a huge positive impact on lamb loss without having to resort to species control. This is the kind of constructive teamwork that’s needed, if we are to face up to the scale of the challenge Scotland’s environment and communities are facing.”