Posted: February 18, 2020

Lothian Monitor Farmers Share Key Learnings at Final Meeting

Farmers in the Lothians are invited to attend the final meeting of the Lothians monitor farm project on 4th February on the Preston Hall Estate, Pathhead.

At the meeting, monitor farmer Bill Gray from Preston Hall and Peter Eccles from Saughland Farm, will share key learnings, demonstrate the positive impact of the project and share what they plan to do in the future to demonstrate how they have benefited from their involvement in the three-year Monitor Farm project.

The final meeting will take place from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm and is open to everyone with an interest in farming and rural businesses.  It will report on what has been achieved through the implementation of key initiatives including benchmarking and on-farm trials. 

Chris Leslie, Knowledge Exchange Manager (Arable) for the AHDB in Scotland, said: “What Bill and Peter wanted from their involvement with the Monitor Farm Programme was to develop a blueprint of how collaboration should work between farms.  They have integrated their businesses by applying a holistic approach to agricultural regeneration, sharing their resources to integrate livestock with arable and provide support to both farms year-round.”

Funded by Scottish Government and managed as a joint initiative by QMS and AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds, the aim of the Monitor Farm Project is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.

Bill Gray said: “When we took up the challenge three years ago of joining the Monitor Farm programme we focused on arable farming with the majority of our pasture and grazing land farmed in collaboration with neighbouring farmers. We are now reaping the benefits of working collaboratively with Saughland Farm as we have been able to streamline the core arable business, whilst maintaining the benefits of having livestock on the farm and providing a habitat rich in wildlife.”

Facilitator, Colin MacPhail from CA MacPhail Consulting Ltd., said: “The final meeting will be a great opportunity to reflect on the impact of the project and share key learnings. We will provide an update from the farmers, discuss project milestones and then head up to see the collaboration field with the outwintered cattle. The meeting theme will be focused on collaboration and how we move forward and maximise the impact of the project.”

Iain Davidson of the Scottish Land Matching Service, Kate Rowell, Chair of Quality Meat Scotland, Claire Taylor from The Scottish Farmer and Neil Wilson from SAB Advisory, will all take part in a panel session in the afternoon, giving attendees the opportunity to ask questions and discuss key topics and industry issues.

The final meeting will take place on Tuesday 4th February, at Rosemains Farm, Tynehead, Pathhead EH37 5UG  at 10.30 am (tea and coffee from 10am) followed by a farm Visit to Pitscave to view the Cattle Outwintering Project, followed by lunch at the Stair Arms EH37 5TX where the afternoon sessions and panel discussion until 3.30 pm will take place. To help with catering, please book by contacting, or call 077470 46461

The Lothians monitor farm is one of nine monitor farms that have been established around Scotland in a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds. It is 100% funded by Scottish Government through the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation fund.

For more information about the monitor farm programme visit


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