22 Jan

Fifth Conference speaker announced

Engaging with your community : Rebecca Dawes, Open Farm Sunday

Rebecca is the Scottish Co-ordinator for LEAF Open Farm Sunday, an initiative that sees nearly 400 farmers, crofters and smallholders open their gates annually on one Sunday in June (9th June 2019). Her family also take part each year and to date have hosted 11 LEAF Open Farm Sunday events plus many others including lambing, “all about ewe”, the farming Christmas nativity, a book of farming, school visits and numerous other days linked to food, farming and nature. These events have ranged from 10 to 3500 people running from one hour to a full-day.

Rebecca has a First-Class Honours degree in Events Management and is a graduate of the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme. She is a Judge for Lantra Scotland Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards. Co-Manager of the Rural Youth Project and works full-time for Jane Craigie Marketing, an agency that specialists in the agricultural and rural sector. She also has her own herd of pygmy goats but has yet to try goat yoga!!

Rebecca will give the conference a really good insight and plenty of examples from her experience of Open Farm Sunday to help our members learn more about engaging with the public, helping promote/sell their goods/services and running the event.

16 Jan

Smallholding Scotland Conference 2019: speakers announced

The 2019 Smallholding Scotland Conference is being held at Pitcairngreen Village Hall on Friday 15th February. Full details are on the conference website including ticket sales.

Three speakers have been announced today: Pete Ritchie, Executive Director of Nourish Scotland, Ceri Ritchie, Sector Manager for food and drink at SAC Consulting and manager of Connect Local, the Scottish Government’s local food and drink marketing advisory service and Sam Parsons, estate manager for the Balcaskie Estate, who has been at the forefront of the transition of the estate to organic status, and has been a pioneer in initiatives such as mob-grazing and wild farming.

Further announcements to follow.

14 Jan

Dates for your diary 2019

Smallholding Scotland Conference Friday 15th February Pitcairngreen Village Hall, Perth

Scottish Smallholder Festival Saturday 28thSeptember Lanark Agricultural Centre

Sales of Poultry and Waterfowl and Rare Breed Livestock
Aberdeen and Northern Marts, Thainstone
May 18th Rare Breed Sales
August 31st Rare Breed Sale including show and sale of Jacob and Ryeland sheep)

Longtown Market
Poultry sales on March 30th and November 2nd

Dingwall Market
March 16th Rare breed poutry and native bred livestock

Harrison and Hetherington, Carlisle
February 23rd Poultry, waterfowl and pigs
September 21st Rare Breeds Sale including shows and sales of Longhorn and Dexter cattle, Jacob, Ryeland, Kerry Hill, Hebridean and Border Leicester sheep

Lawrie &Symington, Lanark Agricultural Centre
Poultry and waterfowl sales 7th February, 7th March, 25th April, 30th May, 9th July, 1st August, 30th August26th September and 28th November
September 5th Rare Breed Sale

Lawrie and Symington, The Forfar Mart
Poultry and waterfowl sales 21st February, 9th May, 25th July and 10th October
These dates are believed to be correct but please check with the individual market operator nearer the time.

 

 

 

21 Sep

New Trustees for Smallholding Scotland

At the recent AGM, held in Perth,  four new Trustees joined the Board of Smallholding Scotland. Laura Turner, from Fife, has taken up the position of Membership Secretary; Anne Massie has taken the role of Treasurer. The other new trustees are Sandra Bannister and Karen McKay.

Elaine Whitely and Andy Phillips stood down under the constitutional rules and were re-elected. Martin Beard, Rosemary Champion, Cath Livingstone and Arnot Tippett remain on the Board, with Martin taking the office of Events Co-ordinator, Rosemary, Chair and Arnott, Secretary.

There are still vacancies for Trustees so any member interested in getting involved should contact the Board via enquiries@smallholding.scot.

The Board are looking forward to developing the organisation to support and represent Scottish smallholders over the next year.

Also at the AGM, the accounts for 2018 were approved and the subscriptions for 2019/20 set at £20 for Full and £15 for Associate memberships.

27 Aug

Smallholding Scotland AGM 2018

The first Smallholding Scotland AGM takes place on Friday 14th September at the New County Hotel at 7pm. All members are warmly invited to attend and papers will be circulated to all members on Wednesday 29th August.

18 Jun

Survey of Scotland’s smallholdings and smallholders

There are a lot of smallholdings in Scotland.

Information on Scotland’s smallholdings and smallholders is pretty sparse. It is mainly based on the Scottish Government’s Annual Agricultural Census, but that only goes routinely to those who submit a Single Application Form plus a proportion of other registered holdings.

Smallholding Scotland would like to improve both the quality and breadth of information available and is in discussion with SRUC, ScotGov and the Royal Society of Statisticians to develop a comprehesive survey, the results of which will guide the future work of the organisation.

We hope that the survey work will be complete by the end of 2018. Further details will be made available in due course.

 

18 Jun

Prince’s Countryside Fund bid – information hub

As active smallholders, the Trustees of Smallholding Scotland know first hand how challenging it can be to find accurate, reputable and unbiased information. It’s hard if you know what you don’t know; if you don’t know what you don’t know, it’s impossible.

At its establishment last year, the Trustees identified the development of a comprehensive, web-based information hub for smallholders and aspiring smallholders as a priority for the organisation.

Last week, a bid for £50,000 was submitted to the Prince’s Countryside Fund to build and populate such a hub. If we are successful, we will be commissioning the building of the website and knowledge hub plus employing a contractor to take on the project of collating, commisssioning, editing and curating content.

Needless to say, we have our fingers and toes crossed.