The Liveseys run a farm on a wide array of tenancy arrangements with some land owned, long-term leases and annual lets. Their ability to adapt their business to the different tenure options available is a testament to many modern farmers who need to be flexible when it comes to accessing land to farm. However there is a challenge getting enough land tied down for a long enough period to make their future secure. Landlords hesitancy to let land for significant periods of time is exacerbating the situation. Pre-emptive fear of the repercussions of land reform is the causing fewer long-term lets coming on the market according to the Liveseys.
The right to buy rule has ‘shut down’ land availability according to young farmer Iain Livesey who farms with his parents Rob and Kath in the Borders. With just four years left to go on a 15-year lease, his prospects in farming are unclear.