Duns farmer James Royan has the chance to realise his ambition to develop a business breeding rare sheep thanks to Scottish Water.
Mr Royan, 45, is Scottish Water’s first new tenant farmer as part of their involvement in the Scottish Government run scheme Farming Opportunities for New Entrants (FONE).
The land at Whiteadder Reservoir is part of more than 1000 hectares of public land being made available to attract a new generation of farmers under the Government’s programme to identify and release public and private land.
While working for Police Scotland supporting organisers of major events like the Royal Highland Show and Royal Military Tattoo, James has developed his 25 strong Bennachie flock of high-pedigree Poll Dorset sheep over the past 11 years on a plot of land at his parents-in-law’s farm. Now he has his own five year tenancy on more than 14 acres of Scottish Water land at Whiteadder Reservoir James can build up his business for when he retires from the police.
“I developed a passion for farming and sheep production at a very early age but have experienced how hard it is to realise the farming dream without the benefit of owned land,” said James.
“The Scottish Government scheme has offered me an opportunity to build a viable operation through the security of a fixed-term tenancy agreement and I’m exceptionally grateful to Scottish Water for the opportunity to rear sheep next to the Whiteadder Reservoir. I am excited to see what the next chapter brings and with the support of Scottish Water I am determined to build on the success I’ve already enjoyed.”
Scottish Water’s Archie Macgregor said: “James was an outstanding candidate for the land near the Whiteadder Reservoir. We are delighted to be playing our part in helping new entrants get on to that vital first rung of the ladder in the farming industry.”