Scottish stock farm launched after foot and mouth delay

A large organic stock farm in the Lammermuir Hills is just about to be launched after a delay because of the foot and mouth outbreak.

Kidshielhaugh near Duns, 18 miles from Berwick-upon-Tweed, was set to hit the market a few weeks ago, said Anna Thomas of Savills’ Edinburgh office.

Waiting to see

“We were waiting to see how foot and mouth progressed, nobody wanted the responsibility of bringing it to Scotland,” she said.

The farm, which is priced at offers over £1.4m, includes 894 acres of land, of which 214 acres are arable.

‘Doubly rare’

“I think it’s one of the biggest commercial stock farms to be sold in Scotland, this year,” said Miss Thomas. “And because it’s organic it’s doubly rare.”

But whether the farm stayed as an organic unit once it was sold, was debatable, she said.

Few looking for organic

“It widens the market, but of the 700 people on our books very few have specified that organic is what they are looking for.”

However, owner Bill Thorburn said he would never go back to conventional farming again.

‘Very rewarding’

“Initially it was the money you got for converting that attracted me, but it has been very rewarding. It really makes you think about what you are doing.”

Mr Thorburn said he also got about £10 extra for his lambs because they were organic.

Organic maintenance payments

He runs a flock of 800 breeding ewes and 300 to 500 store lambs and said he was hoping to sell them with the farm.

If the farm remains organic there are five years of organic maintenance payments available totalling over £50,000 available.


Miss Thomas said the possibility of adding value to the traditional steading that adjoins the farm’s attractive four-bed house could also attract buyers.

“We’ve drawn up plans to convert some of the buildings to four houses and the planners seem very positive.” 

Wind turbines

There are 10 wind turbines on the farm, but Mr Thorburn will be retaining the plots they are sited on and any income.

There will, however, be access for grazing and ownership revert to the purchaser at the end of the scheme.