Two Scottish estates to merge operations

John Glen

One of Scotland’s biggest private landowners is to merge operations on two of its estates.

Buccleuch said that Bowhill and Eskdale & Liddesdale Estates will combine to create Borders Estate from September 1.

There will be no change to ongoing relationships with the residential and farming tenants with both legal agreements and key personnel remaining unchanged under the new Borders Estate umbrella.

Borders Estate will be managed by Edward Morris, who was previously estate manager at Bowhill and has been overseeing operations at Eskdale & Liddesdale since early this year.

The overall footprint of the combined estate will be significantly reduced as Buccleuch progresses its policy of selling land and farms.

Property advisers Savills have been engaged by Buccleuch to look at bringing more agricultural land to the market, either as a portfolio or individual units. Buccleuch has sold 24 farms totalling 32,000 acres across its Scottish estates over the past 20 years. Discussions are currently ongoing with approximately 40 tenants.

John Glen, chief executive of Buccleuch, said: “The Bowhill and Eskdale and Liddesdale Estates have been operating closely together and it makes sense to create a single estate identity, which is more representative of our operations.  We continue to streamline and harmonise our back office processes, in order to develop a consistent approach across all aspects of our rural business.

“The shape and scale of Buccleuch’s landholdings continues to change and in recent years we have been selling land and properties as we reduce our footprint.

“We have been in discussions with a number of tenant farmers who have expressed an interest in buying their farms and these discussions are continuing.

“Buccleuch will continue to have a strong attachment to the Bowhill and Eskdale and Liddesdale areas and our policy of selling land will enable us to invest in new projects.”