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Rural Issues in Scotland

Rural Scotland, covering 95 per cent of the land area and 18 per cent of the population, is an integral part of the country's economy, environment and culture. The Scottish Government's aim is to promote development in rural areas and empower communities.

The Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) is a programme of economic, environmental and social measures, worth some £1.2 billion, designed to develop rural Scotland over the next few years, to 2013.

In Focus

Crofting reform

CroftingThe modernisation of Scotland's vital crofting sector has taken an 'important step forward' with the second phase of the Act's commencement.

As part of the implementation of the Crofting Reform Act 2010, the order laid in parliament will bring into force sections that will:

  • Transform the Crofters Commission into the Crofting Commission with a new constitution and powers commencing on 1 April 2012
  • Place duties on tenant and owner-occupied crofters to occupy and work their crofts, to be enforced by the Commission, from 1 October 2011.
  • Protect croft land by allowing the Land Court and the Commission to take into account a wider range of factors when deciding on resumption and de-crofting applications
  • Provide greater flexibility for the succession of crofts by allowing a croft to be bequeathed to two or more people

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Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group - Public Meetings in Dumfries, Turriff, Perth and Inverness

Members of the review group will be visiting these locations on Thursday 17 April and Thursday 24 April, Thursday 1 May and Wednesday 7 May. The link above takes you to further information.


Completing your Single Application Form (SAF) 2014

Spring is in the air and it’s that time of year again - when the annual Single Application Form (SAF) is due. This enables the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Inspections Division (RPID) to pay out much-needed CAP support schemes.

Drew Sloan, RPID’s Chief Agricultural Officer, highlights what to watch out for this year and how to get ahead with your claim for 2014.

If you have not received your SAF pack or letter, please contact your local area office for a replacement. A list of local area offices can be found online.

SAF Pack insert - Pesticides Information Note and Questionnaire

Revised guidance - please be advised that pesticide application equipment in use which is over 5 years old will need to be inspected once by 26 November 2016.

Fraud Warning - please be aware of fraudsters targeting the farming community.


Rural Development Contracts

Rural Development Contracts: a new interactive map search tool has been developed. This new map-based tool allows you to search your area of interest for land designations. These must be taken into account when applying for Rural Development Contracts and/or Felling licenses.


The Futures Programme - we are changing.

We have started a large programme of work to update our systems and processes for rural payments and services.  We are working with Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland to deliver the improvements from summer/autumn 2014 to the end of 2017.

The new online services will make it easier and quicker for customers to apply for subsidies and grants, offer up-to-date map information and hold customers information and communications in one place they can access whenever they want.

We are not developing the new online services in isolation.  We are asking some of our staff, customers and agents to help us work out what is important to them – and we are using the feedback to develop the new approach and deliver what our customers really want and value.

The new online services will be like an online banking facility and customers will be able to change their details online – for example, change an address, update bank details and manage the account.

RPID Customer Satisfaction Survey to Inform the Futures Programme


Scotland Rural Development Programme - Transitional Funding

Funding for new farmers

Single Farm Payment - Fraud Warning

Weather Aid Scheme

Funding Support for New Entrants


Bogus email warning:

The Scottish Government’s Rural Inspections and Payments Division (RPID) has been made aware of a bogus email claiming to be from the Government Gateway Service with the following text in the subject line: ‘Could not process Online Submission’. The email itself states ‘We could not process your full payment submission’.

The email contains an attachment which should not be opened as it contains a virus. Do not open or respond to the email and delete it immediately.


This email has not been sent from RPID and does not relate to any of our payments or services. RPID uses the Government Gateway as an identity provider only and they would not email any of our customers asking for information on our behalf. An example of this type of bogus email can be viewed at the below link: