One of Scotland’s largest landowners, the Duke of Buccleuch and his family, is to sell nearly 9,000 acres of their rolling Borders Estate for more than £19 million.
Tenant farmers at Canonbie in Dumfries and Galloway will be given the opportunity to buy their farms ahead of the open sale, which is expected to generate £19.5m in total.
The forestry and agricultural land sits close to the A7 to the south of Langholm and comprises 8,959 acres.
The land will be available as a whole or in 18 separate lots as part of the “Evertown” portfolio, named after a hamlet in the area. Buccleuch, which comprises the business interests of the Buccleuch family, said any sale of land including tenanted farms would see leasing agreements honoured, while long-term tenants could buy their farms in advance.
Farms occupied on 1991 Act tenancies, which are secure agricultural leases, are not part of the sale.
John Glen, chief executive of Buccleuch, said: “As the Buccleuch business continues to evolve, we have to reflect the fact that the productive use of land is a far more complex proposition than it was previously. We are committed to achieving the best use of land possible and part of that strategy involves reducing our footprint. These land holdings being brought to market offer a wide variety of opportunities for prospective owners.
“Due to the structure of the portfolio, we expect the sale process may take some time and we will appraise tenants and staff at the estate as soon as matters develop.
“We have been in discussion with tenant farmers, who have expressed an interest in buying their farms for some time and these are continuing. Other tenant farmers who have not yet indicated an interest to buy can, of course, do so.
“Farms occupied on 1991 Act tenancies are not part of this marketing and current lease arrangements on other farms would be honoured by the new owner as we have stipulated as part of the sale process.”
Charles Dudgeon of Savills, which is advising Buccleuch, said: “While the properties sit in a beautiful part of the world, amidst a rolling landscape, they are conveniently located close to the main Edinburgh to Carlisle trunk road, providing quick access to the motorway network.
“We are anticipating a good level interest at a time when there is a lack of supply and opportunities across the UK.”
The Buccleuch estates cover more than 270,000 acres of agricultural and forest land in Scotland, including more than 500 properties.