Amenity linked to price

The value of Scottish land is becoming more linked to its amenity potential than its agricultural productivity, says John Coleman of Knight Frank.

About 70% of Scotland is in agricultural production, but only 12% of that was arable, with 60% rough grazing, said Mr Coleman.

“We have a lot of wild, natural, pretty land and there is little doubt that the value of such land is set to soar.

“In 1982, the average price of unequipped arable land in Scotland was about £1350/acre, with mixed arable/grazing land 55% of that at £750/acre. Today, the same averages are £2470 and £1580 (65%),” he said.

“Rightly or wrongly, the growth in environmental designations reflects a change in society requirements with greater importance placed on environmental matters against food production.

This rise in importance of the natural environment is affecting land values positively.”

Mr Coleman predicted farms were likely to be packaged into more lots to take full advantage of sporting and amenity value and he urged landowners to add value by improving the amenity of the farm unit even at the expense of traditional productive land.