Agriculture in Scotland

Agriculture in Scotland includes all land use for arable, horticultural or pastoral activity in Scotland, or around its coasts. The first permanent settlements and farming date from the Neolithic period, from around 6,000 years ago. From the beginning of the Bronze Age, about 2000 BCE, arable land spread at the expense of forest. From the Iron Age, beginning in the seventh century BCE, there was use of cultivation ridges and terraces. During the period of Roman occupation there was a reduction in agriculture and the early Middle Ages were a period of climate deterioration resulting in more unproductive land. Most farms had to produce a self-sufficient diet, supplemented by hunter-gathering. More oats and barley were grown than corn, and cattle were the most important domesticated animal. From c. 1150 to 1300, the Medieval Warm Period allowed cultivation at greater heights and made land more productive. The system of infield and outfield agriculture may have been introduced with feudalism from the twelfth century. The rural economy boomed in the thirteenth century, but by the 1360s there was a severe falling off in incomes to be followed by a slow recovery in the fifteenth century.

The early modern era saw the impact of the Little Ice Age, which peaked towards the end of the seventeenth century. The closing decade of the seventeenth century saw a slump, followed by four years of failed harvests, in what is known as the "seven ill years", but these shortages would be the last of their kind. After the Union of 1707 there was a conscious attempt to improve agriculture among the gentry and nobility. Introductions included haymaking, the English plough, new crops, crop rotation and encloses were introduced. The resulting Lowland Clearances saw hundreds of thousands of cottars and tenant farmers from central and southern Scotland forcibly removed. The later Highland Clearances saw the forced displacement much of the population of the Highland as lands were enclosed for sheep farming. Those that remained many were now crofters, living on very small rented farms.

In the twentieth century Scottish agriculture became susceptible to world markets. There were dramatic price rises in the First World War, but a slump in the 1920s and 1930s, followed by more rises in World War II. In 1947 annual price reviews were introduced in an attempt to stabilise the market. There was a drive in UK agriculture to greater production until the late 1970s, resulting in intensive farming. There was increasing mechanisation and farming became less labour-intensive. UK membership of the European Economic Community from 1972 began a change in orientation for Scottish farming. Some sectors became viable only with subsidies. A series of reforms to the CAP from the 1990s attempted to control over-production, limit incentives for intensive farming and mitigate environmental damage. A dual farm structure has emerged with agriculture divided between large commercial farms and small pluralised and diversified holdings.

Roughly 79 per cent of Scotland’s total land area is under agricultural production. Cereals accounted for 78 per cent of the land area, while livestock numbers have been falling in recent years. Around 15 per cent of the total land area of Scotland is forested, most in public ownership controlled by the Forestry Commission. Total income from farming has been rising since the turn of the millennium. Aquaculture production is focused on the West and North of the country. Some farm businesses rely on sources of income other than from farming. Scottish agriculture employs around 1.5 per cent of the workforce and contributes to around 1 per cent of the Scottish economy.

Harvest home, Brickhall
Grain harvest, Bridge of Earn, Perthshire, Scotland

Topography and climate

Scotland Southern Uplands01 2002-08-16
The Southern Uplands around Durisdeer

The defining factor in the geography of Scotland is the distinction between the Highlands and Islands in the north and west and the Lowlands in the south and east. The Highlands are further divided into the Northwest Highlands and the Grampian Mountains by the fault line of the Great Glen. The Lowlands are divided into the fertile belt of the Central Lowlands and the higher terrain of the Southern Uplands, which included the Cheviot hills, over which the border with England runs.[1] The Central Lowland belt averages about 50 miles in width,[2] and contains most of the good quality agricultural land.[3] Scotland is half the size of England and Wales in area, but with its many inlets, islands and inland lochs, it has roughly the same amount of coastline at 4,000 miles. Only a fifth of Scotland is less than 60 metres above sea level.[4]

Scotland's soils are diverse for a relatively small country due to the variation in geology, topography, climate, altitude and land use history. There are very productive arable soils in the east of the country, including some of the most productive for wheat and barley of anywhere in the world. Scotland's soils differ from much of the rest of the UK and Europe and they provide valuable habitats for wildlife and flora. They are largely naturally acidic in nature with high concentrations of organic carbon. They are predominantly coarse textured and often exhibit poor drainage.[5]

The climate of Scotland is temperate and very changeable, but rarely extreme.[6] Scotland is warmed by the North Atlantic Drift and given the northerly location of the country, experiences much milder conditions than areas on similar latitudes. Average temperatures are lower than in the rest of Great Britain. Western coastal areas of Scotland are warmer than the east and inland areas, due to the influence of the Atlantic currents, and the colder surface temperatures of the North Sea.[7] Rainfall totals vary widely across Scotland—the western highlands of Scotland are one of the wettest places in the UK with annual rainfall up to 4,577 mm (180.2 in). In comparison, much of eastern Scotland receives less than 870 mm (34.3 in) annually; lying in the rain shadow of the western uplands.[8] Annual average sunshine totals vary from as little as 711–1140 hours in the Highlands and the north-west up to 1471–1540 hours on the extreme eastern and south-western coasts.[9] Wind prevails from the south-west, bringing warm, wet and unstable air from the Atlantic.[6] The windiest areas of Scotland are in the north and west, with parts of the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland experiencing over 30 days with gales per year.[6] Vigorous Atlantic depressions, also known as European windstorms, are a common feature of the autumn and winter in Scotland.[10]

History

Prehistory

Early Medieval Economy
Map of available land in Medieval Scotland.[11]

Mesolithic hunter-gatherer encampments formed the first known settlements in Scotland around 8500 BCE.[12] These were highly mobile boat-using people making tools from bone, stone and antlers.[13] In the Neolithic period, around 6,000 years ago, there is evidence of permanent settlements and farming.[14] Archaeological evidence indicates that the two main sources of food were grain and cow's milk.[15] From the beginning of the Bronze Age, about 2000 BCE, arable land spread at the expense of forest.[16] From the Iron Age, beginning in the seventh century BCE, there is evidence of hill forts in southern Scotland that are associated with cultivation ridges and terraces.[17] Souterrains, small underground constructions, may have been for storing perishable agricultural products.[18] Aerial photography reveals extensive prehistoric field systems that underlie existing boundaries in some Lowland areas, suggesting that the fertile plains were already densely exploited for agriculture.[17] During the period of Roman occupation there was re-growth of birch, oak and hazel for five centuries, suggesting a decline of population and agriculture.[16]

Middle Ages

MasterofJamesIVThreshing&PigFeeding
Threshing and pig feeding from a book of hours from the Workshop of the Master of James IV of Scotland (Flemish, c. 1541)

The early Middle Ages were a period of climate deterioration resulting in more land becoming unproductive.[19] Most farms had to produce a self-sufficient diet of meat, dairy products and cereals, supplemented by hunter-gathering. Farming was based around a single homestead or a small cluster of three or four homes, each probably containing a nuclear family.[20] The climate meant that more oats and barley were grown than corn (here meaning wheat)[21] and cattle were the most important domesticated animal.[22] In the period c. 1150 to 1300, warm dry summers and less severe winters allowed cultivation at much greater heights above sea level and made land more productive.[23] Arable farming grew significantly, but was still more common in low-lying areas than in high-lying areas such as the Highlands, Galloway and the Southern Uplands.[24] The system of infield and outfield agriculture, a variation of open field farming widely used across Europe, may have been introduced with feudalism from the twelfth century[17] and would continue until the eighteenth century.[25] Crops were bere (a form of barley), oats and sometimes wheat, rye and legumes. The more extensive outfield was used for oats.[17] By the late Medieval period, most farming was based on the Lowland fermtoun or Highland baile, settlements of a handful of families that jointly farmed an area notionally suitable for two or three plough teams, allocated in run rigs to tenant farmers, known as husbandmen.[26] Runrigs usually ran downhill so that they included both wet and dry land. Most ploughing was done with a heavy wooden plough with an iron coulter, pulled by oxen, which were more effective and cheaper to feed than horses.[26] Key crops included kale, hemp and flax. Sheep and goats were probably the main sources of milk, while cattle were raised for meat.[27] The rural economy appears to have boomed in the thirteenth century and in the immediate aftermath of the Black Death was still buoyant, but by the 1360s there was a severe falling off in incomes to be followed by a slow recovery in the fifteenth century.[28]

Early modern era

17thC Scottish Lowland farm
A Scottish Lowland farm from John Slezer's Prospect of Dunfermline, published in the Theatrum Scotiae, 1693

As feudal distinctions declined in the early modern era, the barons and tenants-in-chief merged to form a new identifiable group, the lairds.[29] With the substantial landholders of the yeomen,[30] these heritors were the major landholding orders.[31] Those with property rights included husbandmen, lesser landholders and free tenants.[32] Many young people, both male and female, left home to become domestic and agricultural servants.[33] The early modern era also saw the impact of the Little Ice Age, of colder and wetter weather, which peaked towards the end of the seventeenth century.[34] Almost half the years in the second half of the sixteenth century saw local or national scarcity, necessitating the shipping of large quantities of grain from the Baltic.[35] In the early seventeenth century famine was relatively common, with four periods of famine prices between 1620 and 1625. The English invasions of the 1640s had a profound impact on the Scottish economy.[36] Under the Commonwealth, the country was relatively highly taxed, but gained access to English markets.[37] After the Restoration the formal frontier with England was re-established, along with its customs duties. Economic conditions were generally favourable from 1660 to 1688, as land owners promoted better tillage and cattle-raising.[38] The closing decade of the seventeenth century there was a slump in trade with the Baltic and France and changes in the Scottish cattle trade, followed by four years of failed harvests (1695, 1696 and 1698-9), known as the "seven ill years".[39] The shortages of the 1690s would be the last of their kind.[40]

Agricultural revolution

Crofts at Borreraig - geograph.org.uk - 137969
Crofts at Borreraig on the island of Skye

Increasing contacts with England after the Union of 1707 led to a conscious attempt to improve agriculture among the gentry and nobility.[41] The English plough was introduced and foreign grasses, the sowing of rye grass and clover. Turnips and cabbages were introduced, lands enclosed and marshes drained, lime was put down to combat soil acidity, roads built and woods planted. Drilling and sowing and crop rotation were introduced. The introduction of the potato to Scotland in 1739 provided a crop with a high yield, providing 3 to 5 times more calories per acre than a cereal crop.[42]:13 Enclosures began to displace the run rig system.[41] The first result of these changes were the Lowland Clearances.[41] Agricultural improvement spread north and west, mostly over the period 1760 to 1850 as the Highland Clearances. Many farming tenants were evicted and offered tenancies in crofting communities, with their former possessions converted into large-scale sheep farms. Crofts were intended to be too small to support the occupants, so forcing them to work in other industries, such as fishing, quarrying or kelping.[43] In the 1840 and 1850s Scotland suffered its last major subsistence crisis,[44] when the potato blight that caused the Irish potato famine reached the Highlands in 1846.[45] This gave rise to the second phase of the Highland clearances, when landlords provided assisted passages for their tenants to emigrate in a desperate effort to rid themselves of a redundant population that was dependent of famine relief.

Twentieth century

Sheep grazing on slopes of Camp Hill - geograph.org.uk - 909051
Sheep grazing on slopes of Camp Hill, Bowmont Valley

In the twentieth century Scottish agriculture became susceptible to the ups and downs of world markets. There were dramatic price rises in the First World War, but a slump in the 1920s and 1930s, followed by more rises in World War II. In 1947 annual price reviews were introduced in an attempt to stabilise the market. After World War II there was a drive in UK agriculture to greater production until the late 1970s, resulting in intensive farming. More areas of marginal land were brought into production.[46] There was increasing mechanisation of Scottish agriculture and farming became less labour-intensive.[46] The UK membership of the European Economic Community (later the European Union) in 1972 began a change in orientation for Scottish farming. Some sectors, particularly hill sheep farming, became viable only with subsidies. A series of reforms to the CAP from the 1990s attempted to control over-production, limit incentives for intensive farming and mitigate environmental damage.[47] A dual farm structure emerged, with agriculture divided between large commercial farms and small pluralised and diversified holdings.[48]

Modern agriculture

Land use

Claas Tucano 430
A combine harvester near Loch Leven

At the time of the June 2013 agricultural census the total area of agricultural holdings in Scotland was 5.6 million hectares, equal to 73 per cent of Scotland’s total land area. Just over half of this was rough grazing, with about a quarter taken up by grass, and about ten per cent used for crops or left fallow. The remainder was made up of woodland, ponds, yards or other uses. There was a further 580,000 hectares of common grazing, which if included made the total area 6.2 million hectares, or 79 per cent of Scotland’s total land area.[49] Because of the persistence of feudalism and the land enclosures of the nineteenth century, the ownership of most land is concentrated in relatively few hands (some 350 people own about half the land). As a result, in 2003 the Scottish Parliament passed a Land Reform Act that empowered tenant farmers and communities to purchase land even if the landlord did not want to sell.[50]

In June 2013, of crops grown in Scotland (excluding grass), cereals accounted for 78 per cent of the land area, with nearly three-quarters of that being barley (340,000 hectares). Wheat was also significant (87,000 hectares), along with oilseed rape (34,000 hectares), oats (32,000 hectares) and potatoes (29,000 hectares). Amongst fruit and vegetables, a total of 911 hectares of strawberries were grown, mainly under cover, which was the largest source of income amongst horticulture crops.[49] The major areas of cereal production were Grampian, Tayside, Borders, Lothian and Fife.[51]

Highland cows near Kittochside - geograph.org.uk - 1101614
Distinctive Highland Cattle. Numbers of livestock, including cattle have been declining.

Livestock numbers have been falling in recent years. The trend began at the turn of the millennium in the case of pigs and sheep and dates to the mid-1970s in the case of cattle. In June 2013 there were 6.6 million sheep, 1.8 million cattle and 308,000 pigs, the lowest numbers since the 1940 and 1950s. Poultry numbers have tended to fluctuate over the last 25 years, but were down to 14.2 million in 2013.[49]

About 13,340 km² of land in Scotland is forested[52] representing around 15 per cent of the total land area of Scotland. The majority of forests are in public ownership, with forestry policy being controlled by the Forestry Commission. The biggest plantations and timber resources are to be found in Dumfries and Galloway, Tayside, Argyll and the area governed by Highland Council. The economic activities generated by forestry in Scotland include planting and harvesting as well as sawmilling, the production of pulp and paper and the manufacture of higher value goods. Forests, especially those surrounding populated areas in Central Scotland also provide a recreation resource.[49]

Income and employment

Total income from farming (TIFF) has been rising since the turn of the millennium. It was estimated at £700 million in 2012, being made up of £2.9 billion in outputs and £570 million in support payments, offset by £2.8 billion in costs. The initial estimate of TIFF for 2013 was £830 million, an increase largely linked to the improved weather. TIFF per annual work unit increased to £31,000, similar to the value in 2011.[49]

Loch Nevis - Fish Farm near Tarbet - geograph.org.uk - 186858
A fish farm near Tarbet on Loch Nevis

Aquaculture production is focused on the West and North of the country. The total output of aquaculture was estimated in 2011 at around £434 million per year, including around £412 million for farmed Atlantic salmon, £14.34 million for rainbow trout and £7.7 million for shellfish. Brown trout, sea trout, halibut and Arctic charr are also farmed in Scotland.[53]

Some farm businesses rely on sources of income other than from farming, including contracting work, hosting mobile phone masts, tourism and recreation and financial support from grants and subsidies. Analysis of the Farm Accounts Survey suggests that, excluding support from grants and subsidies, the average farm made a loss of £16,000 in 2012. However, calculations from TIFF suggest that, excluding support, the sector still made a small profit.[49]

Government figures indicate that in 2013 Scottish agriculture employed around 1.5 per cent of the workforce and contributes around 1 per cent of the Scottish economy.[49] Other studies suggest the employment rate to be around 8 per cent of the total rural population, and in terms of numbers the estimates indicate that around 68,000 people are directly employed or self-employed in agriculture, while around 200,000 people are related to a variety of activities related to agriculture. In the Highlands and Islands, around 10 per cent of the workforce are engaged in agriculture and livestock products contribute around 70 per cent of the output.[54]

Education

The West of Scotland Agricultural College formed in 1899, the East of Scotland Agricultural College in 1901, and the North of Scotland Agricultural College in 1904; these colleges amalgamated to form the Scottish Agricultural College in 1990.[55]

Environmental protection

Scottish Rights of Way Society Sign - geograph.org.uk - 249365
Scotways sign for a "Public Path"

Site-specific nature conservations began in the UK with the creation of the Nature Conservancy in 1948, which later became the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC). It moved from a research-based advisory group to become a campaigning body. The 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act excluded Scotland, but introduced the concept of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which were to become a key part of managing nature conservation.[56] A Countryside Commission Scotland (CSS) was established under the Countryside Scotland Act, 1967.[57] The SSSI were strengthened by the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, which for the first time introduced the concept of payments to farmers for inactivity in relation to specific sites and shifted the burden of proof from conservationist having to prove harm, to landholders having to prove that harm was not taking place. The NCC was broken up in 1991 and in Scotland was merged with CSS to produce Scottish National Heritage (SNH), under a UK-wide Joint Nature Conservation Committee. SNH has a remit for both land and nature conservation and a responsibility towards sustainability and to the consideration of the needs of the Scottish people.[56]

Rights of way

In Scotland, a right of way is a route over which the public has been able to pass unhindered for at least 20 years.[58] The route must link two "public places", such as villages, churches or roads. Unlike in England and Wales there is no obligation on Scottish local authorities to signpost or mark a right of way. However, the charity Scotways, formed in 1845 to protect rights of way, records and signs the routes.[59] The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives everyone statutory access rights to most land and inland water in Scotland, to non-motorized traffic, making the existence of rights of way less important in terms of access to land in Scotland. Certain categories of land are excluded from this presumption of open access, such as railway land, airfields and private gardens.[60]

See also

References

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  18. ^ R. Miket, "The souterrains of Skye" in B. B. Smith and I. Banks, eds, In the Shadow of the Brochs (Stroud: Tempus, 2002), ISBN 0-7524-2517-X, pp. 77–110.
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Agriculture in Scotland in the Middle Ages

Agriculture in Scotland in the Middle Ages includes all forms of farm production in the modern boundaries of Scotland, between the departure of the Romans from Britain in the fifth century and the establishment of the Renaissance in the early sixteenth century. Scotland has between a fifth and a sixth of the amount of the arable or good pastoral land of England and Wales, mostly located in the south and east. Heavy rainfall encouraged the spread of acidic blanket peat bog, which with wind and salt spray, made most of the western islands treeless. The existence of hills, mountains, quicksands and marshes made internal communication and agriculture difficult. Most farms had to produce a self-sufficient diet of meat, dairy products and cereals, supplemented by hunter-gathering. The early Middle Ages were a period of climate deterioration resulting in more land becoming unproductive. Farming was based around a single homestead or a small cluster of three or four homes, each probably containing a nuclear family and cattle were the most important domesticated animal.

In the period 1150 to 1300, warm dry summers and less severe winters allowed cultivation at much greater heights and made land more productive. Arable farming grew significantly, but was still more common in low-lying areas than in high-lying areas such as the Highlands, Galloway and the Southern Uplands. The system of infield and outfield agriculture, a variation of open field farming widely used across Europe, may have been introduced with feudalism from the twelfth century. Crops were bere (a form of barley), oats and sometimes wheat, rye and legumes. Hunting reserves were adopted by Anglo-Norman lords and then by Gaelic ones. The more extensive outfield was used for oats. New monastic orders such as the Cistercians became major landholders and sheep farmers, particularly in the Borders where they were organised in granges.

By the late Medieval period, most farming was based on the Lowland fermtoun or Highland baile, settlements of a handful of families that jointly farmed an area notionally suitable for two or three plough teams, allocated in run rigs to tenant farmers, known as husbandmen. Runrigs usually ran downhill so that they included both wet and dry land. Most ploughing was done with a heavy wooden plough with an iron coulter, pulled by oxen, which were more effective and cheaper to feed than horses. Key crops included kale, hemp and flax. Sheep and goats were probably the main sources of milk, while cattle were raised for meat. The rural economy appears to have boomed in the thirteenth century and in the immediate aftermath of the Black Death was still buoyant, but by the 1360s there was a severe falling off in incomes to be followed by a slow recovery in the fifteenth century.

Agriculture in Scotland in the early modern era

Agriculture in Scotland in the early modern era includes all forms of farm production in the modern boundaries of Scotland, between the establishment of the Renaissance in the early sixteenth century and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-eighteenth century. This era saw the impact of the Little Ice Age, which peaked towards the end of the seventeenth century. Almost half the years in the second half of the sixteenth century saw local or national scarcity, necessitating the shipping of large quantities of grain from the Baltic. In the early seventeenth century famine was relatively common, but became rarer as the century progressed. The closing decade of the seventeenth century saw a slump, followed by four years of failed harvests, in what is known as the "seven ill years", but these shortages would be the last of their kind.

As feudal distinctions declined in the early modern era, the barons and tenants-in-chief merged to form a new identifiable group, the lairds. With the yeomen, these heritors were the major landholding orders. Others with property rights included husbandmen and free tenants. Many young people left home to become domestic and agricultural servants. The English invasions of the 1640s had a profound impact on the Scottish economy. Under the Commonwealth, the country was relatively highly taxed, but gained access to English markets. After the Restoration customs duties with England were re-established. Economic conditions were generally favourable, as land owners promoted better tillage and cattle-raising. After the Union of 1707 there was a conscious attempt to improve agriculture among the gentry and nobility. Introductions included the English plough, foreign grasses, rye grass and clover, turnips and cabbages. Lands were enclosed, displacing the run rig system and free pasture. Marshes were drained, lime was put down, roads built, woods planted, drilling and sowing and crop rotation were introduced. The introduction of the potato to Scotland in 1739 greatly improved the diet of the peasantry. The resulting Lowland Clearances saw the eviction of hundreds of thousands of cottars and tenant farmers in central and southern Scotland.

Bastle house

Bastel, bastle, or bastille houses are a type of construction found along the Anglo-Scottish border, in the areas formerly plagued by border Reivers. They are fortified farmhouses, characterised by security measures against raids. Their name is said to derive from the French word "bastille".

Bere (grain)

Bere, pronounced "bear," is a six-row barley currently cultivated mainly on 5-15 hectares of land in Orkney, Scotland. It is also grown on Shetland, Caithness and on a very small scale by a few crofters on some of the Western Isles, i.e. North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Islay and Barra. It is probably Britain's oldest cereal in continuous commercial cultivation.Bere is a landrace adapted to growing on soils of a low pH and to a short growing season with long hours of daylight, as found in the high latitudes of northern Scotland. It is sown in the spring and harvested in the summer. Because of its very rapid growth rate it is sown late but is often the first crop to be harvested. It is known locally as "the 90-day barley."

Factor (Scotland)

In Scotland a factor (or property manager) is a person or firm charged with superintending or managing properties and estates—sometimes where the owner or landlord is unable to or uninterested in attending to such details personally, or in tenements in which several owners of individual flats contribute to the factoring of communal areas.

Factors can be found in solicitors firms, employed by chartered surveyors, property companies and building firms. Property factoring has a wide range of responsibilities and roles. Typically, a person would encounter a factor when renting property or subcontracting for a building firm.

Land allocation decision support system

LADSS, or land allocation decision support system, is an agricultural land-use planning tool developed at The Macaulay Institute. More recently the term LADSS is used to refer to the research of the team behind the original planning tool.

Lands Tribunal for Scotland

The Lands Tribunal for Scotland is a tribunal with jurisdiction over land and property in Scotland, relating to title obligations, compulsory purchase and other private rights. The Tribunal was established under the Lands Tribunal Act 1949, which also created the separate Lands Tribunal in England and Wales and Northern Ireland.

Although the statutory basis of the Lands Tribunal for Scotland was the Lands Tribunal Act 1949, the Tribunal itself was not actually created until 1971, as there was not considered a sufficient amount of work to be undertaken. The Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970 gave the Lands Tribunal new powers to discharge title conditions, which prompted its actual establishment in March 1971.

The Tribunal is based in George House, on George Street in Edinburgh.

Lazy bed

Lazy bed (Irish: ainneor or iompú, Scottish Gaelic: feannagan [ˈfjan̪ˠakən]) is a traditional method of arable cultivation. Rather like cord rig cultivation, parallel banks of ridge and furrow are dug by spade although lazy beds have banks that are bigger, up to 2.5m in width, with narrow drainage channels between them. It was used in southern parts of Britain from the post-Roman period until the post-medieval period, and across much of Ireland and Scotland until the 19th century.

Although it is largely extinct, it is still to be found in parts of the Hebrides and the west of Ireland. In these places, the method used is normally to lift up sods of peat and apply desalinated seaweed fertiliser to improve the ground. Potatoes were often grown in this way in these regions, until the potato blight Phytophthora infestans caused potato famine in the Highlands and Ireland.

Liferent

Liferent or Life-rent in Scots law is the right to receive for life the benefits of a property or other asset, without the right to dispose of the property or asset. The definition was constructed from the sources.

Lowland Clearances

The Lowland Clearances were one of the results of the Scottish Agricultural Revolution, which changed the traditional system of agriculture which had existed in Lowland Scotland in the seventeenth century. Thousands of cottars and tenant farmers from the southern counties (Lowlands) of Scotland migrated from farms and small holdings they had occupied to the new industrial centres of Glasgow, Edinburgh and northern England or abroad, or remaining upon land though adapting to the Scottish Agricultural Revolution.

Quality Meat Scotland

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is an executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. It promotes the red meat sector and markets the Protected Geographical Indication Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb brands.

It was set up in 1990 to provide assurance to industry and consumers that animals produced for the food chain met certain standards.

Regality

A regality was a territorial jurisdiction in old Scots law which might be created by the King only, by granting lands to a subject in liberam regalitatem, and the tract of land over which such a right extended.

A lord of regality had a civil jurisdiction equal to that of the King's sheriff, and more extensive criminal jurisdiction, equivalent to that of the High Court of Justiciary (except for treason). A regality was a superior jurisdiction to a barony and might be exercised over baronies within the regality. The jurisdiction was exercised by the regality court, usually presided over by the bailie or his deputy, and composed of the suitors of court, who held lands by suit of court.

Initially regalities were a part of the system of government, delegated jurisdiction, but from the 14th century, the lords of regality frequently sought to usurp royal authority and establish semi-independent domains. In the 15th century, regalities again became a means of governing by delegated authority. Regalities and regality jurisdictions were abolished by the Heritable Jurisdictions (Scotland) Act 1746.

Roslin Institute

The Roslin Institute is an animal sciences research institute at Easter Bush, Midlothian, Scotland, part of the University of Edinburgh, and is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. In September 2017, Professor Eleanor Riley became the Director of the Roslin Institute and Dean of Research at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies of the University of Edinburgh. to replace Professor David Hume.

Royal Highland Centre

The Royal Highland Centre (also known as the Royal Highland Showground and previously Ingliston Royal Highland Exhibition Hall) is an exhibition centre and showground located in Ingliston in the west of Edinburgh, Scotland, adjacent to Edinburgh Airport and the A8.

Royal Highland Show

The Royal Highland Show is Scotland's biggest annual Agricultural show. The show is organised by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.

Held annually in June at the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston, the event attracts over 1,000 exhibitors, 4,500 head of livestock, and up to 190,000 visitors. It is the premier fixture in Scotland's farming calendar and generates over £200 million in business. Exhibitors compete for the prestige of winning not only a prize ticket, but also for prize money and trophies worth over £1 million.

Scottish Agricultural Revolution

The Agricultural Revolution in Scotland was a series of changes in agricultural practice that began in the seventeenth century and continued in the nineteenth century. They began with the improvement of Scottish Lowlands farmland and the beginning of a transformation of Scottish agriculture from one of the least modernised systems to what was to become the most modern and productive system in Europe. The traditional system of agriculture in Scotland generally used the runrig system of management, which had possibly originated in the late medieval period. The basic pre-improvement farming unit was the baile (in the Highlands) and the fermetoun (in the Lowlands). In each, a small number of families worked open-field arable and shared grazing. Whilst run rig varied in its detail from place to place, the common defining detail was the sharing out by lot on a regular (probably annual) basis of individual parts ("rigs") of the arable land so that families had intermixed plots in different parts of the field.

Scottish Agricultural Wages Board

The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board (SAWB) is an executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. It sets minimum pay rates and other conditions for agricultural workers, as set out in the Agricultural Wages (Scotland) Order (No.59).

The Agricultural Wages Board had been abolished in England and Wales on 25 June 2013. In December 2015 the Scottish Government decided to retain the SAWB. This was announced shortly after they published analysis showing that without the board wages could be driven down for agricultural workers, with young apprentices and migrant workers thought to be particularly at risk.

Scottish Land Court

The Scottish Land Court is a Scottish court of law based in Edinburgh with subject-matter jurisdiction covering disputes between landlords and tenants relating to agricultural tenancies, and matters related to crofts and crofters. The Scottish Land Court is both a trial court and an appeal court; hearings at first-instance are often heard by a Divisional Court of one of the Agricultural Members advised by the Principal Clerk. Decisions of the Divisional Court can be appealed to the Full Court, which will consist of at least one legally qualified judicial member and the remaining Agricultural Member. Some cases are heard at first-instance by the Full Court, and these cases may be appealed to the Inner House of the Court of Session.

The Chairman of the Scottish Land Court is ranked as a Senator of the College of Justice, and is required to be meet the same eligibility criteria as a Senator. The Scottish Land Court has a legally qualified Deputy Chairman, with several Agricultural Members. The Agricultural Members (also called "practical Members") are lay (not legally qualified) members of the Court with significant experience of agriculture. They deal with many crofting cases, and sit in the Divisional Court, where they are supported by the Principal Clerk as legal assessor. However, the decisions of the Divisional Court rest with the Agricultural Member. The Court holds hearings throughout Scotland, and cases can be heard before a divisional court (consisting of one of the Agricultural Members), or the full court (consisting of the Agricultural Members and the legally qualified members.)

The court was established on 1 April 1912 under section 3 of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Act 1911, which was amended by the Scottish Land Court Act 1993. As of April 2017 the Chairman of the Scottish Land Court was Lord Minginish, who was also the Gaelic-speaking member of the Court, as required by Section 1(5) of the Scottish Land Court Act 1993.

Turra Coo

The Turra Coo (Doric for "the Turriff Cow") was a white Ayrshire-Shorthorn cross dairy cow which lived near the Aberdeenshire town of Turriff in north-east Scotland, in the early twentieth century. The cow became famous following a dispute between her owner, supported by local people, against the government over taxes and compulsory national insurance.

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