Sustainable Scotland: YouTubers highlight green life down on the eco farm

A pair of young Scottish eco-farmers are using popular social media channels to inspire future generations of land users to go green.

James Reid and Rosa Bevan, who own Tap O’ Noth farm in Aberdeenshire, have become modern-day ‘influencers’, using video posts to highlight the environmental benefits and potential of nature-friendly agriculture to other young people across Scotland.

They use permaculture techniques at Tap O’ Noth – a system of sustainable farming used to create self-sufficient agricultural ecosystems – which has allowed them to truly live off their land for the past decade.

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They now have more than 19,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel, where they document their life with the aim of inspiring other budding farmers to rear animals, grow crops and make the most of Scottish land.

The eight-acre farm sits at the foot of Tap O’ Noth hill, near the village of Rhynie in rural Aberdeenshire.

It produces ecologically grown fruit and vegetables and is also home to chickens, geese and a small herd of dairy goats.

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The couple generate most of their income from operating a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) vegetable box business, as well as focusing on agritourism in the form of farm tours and renting out their shepherd’s hut.

They also offer online permaculture consultancy services and residential courses.

“We want to inspire people about the life they can lead if they look at land a little bit differently,” Mr Reid said.

“To have been able to work towards that for the past ten years has been extremely rewarding.

“We want to continue to grow our social platform to expand the outreach we have.

James Reid and Rosa Bevan, who own Tap O’ Noth farm in Aberdeenshire, have become social media ‘influencers’ -- using their YouTube channel to highlight the environmental benefits and potential of nature-friendly agriculture to other young people across Scotland

“It’s mind-blowing what you can achieve with a small bit of land, and a lot of people don’t know that.”

Ms Bevan said: “We haven’t looked back since starting this project a decade ago, and it has been inspiring for us to see the benefits Tap O’ Noth farm has had on the environment, our local community and on our lives as well.

“It has been an incredible ten years at Tap O’ Noth farm and we’re really looking forward to what the future has in store for our Aberdeenshire home.”

The success of Tap O’ Noth’s eco-friendly methods has been recognised by the Scottish Land Commission, which is showcasing the farm as an inspiring project in its MyLand.Scot campaign – an initiative aiming to highlight the many benefits that land brings to communities around the country.

Videos posted online show daily life at Tap O' Noth farm, where eco-friendly permaculture methods – which create self-sufficient agricultural ecosystems – are used to grow crops and raise animals

Hamish Trench, chief executive of the Scottish Land Commission, said: “James and Rosa at Tap O’ Noth farm have done an incredible job in bringing together permaculture and land use with social media to create an informative and interesting hotbed for inspiration.

“By developing the farm in the way they have, the couple are a great example of how land in Scotland can be transformed to benefit the environment, people’s livelihoods and communities.

“We hope by sharing their story and other important stories as part of the MyLand.Scot campaign, we can inspire people in Scotland to start thinking about land differently.

“Land can play a crucial role in everyday Scotland, spanning from housing and homes, to giving people the means and confidence to build businesses.”

Mr Reid and Ms Bevan also feature on a brand new podcast, The Lay of the Land, talking about their experiences and love of the land.

Rosa Bevan and James Reid have more than 19,000 followers on their YouTube channel, where they post videos of life at their eco farm in Aberdeenshire

The Scottish Land Commission, a body concerned with looking at the concentration of land ownership, land taxation and effective use of land and buildings for the common good, was set up by the Scottish government in 2017.

Launched in 2021, MyLand.Scot is an initiative designed to increase the Scottish public’s participation in land reform through a series of case studies, information pages and The Lay of the Land podcast.

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