A Fife estate and local farmer are to strike a new tenancy arrangement that celebrates almost a century-long partnership between two families. Allan Wilson, of South Falfield Farm, will shortly be added to the lease currently held by his father, Hugh.
The move underpins a long standing relationship between the Wilsons and the Baxter family, proprietors of Gilston Estate of which the 270 acre mixed farm forms part. The relationship between the families began in the 1920s when the farm was rented by the Baxters to the Wilsons by the respective grandfathers of current Gilston owner Edward Baxter and South Falfield farmer Hugh Wilson.
In the 1970s, Edward Baxter and Hugh Wilson’s respective fathers invested heavily in the farm with new buildings and drainage works.
In 1995, Edward resumed part of the farm (five acres) for a bog, now full of snipe and rare waders - which their fathers had spent substantial money draining - and added 20 acres of dry ground which had previously been farmed in hand by the Estate.
In 2010 Edward and Hugh jointly bought a house in the next door village for Allan, Hugh’s son, who at that time had grown and was living in a caravan on the farm. Now, a few years later, Allan and his parents have swapped houses - his parents have gone to the village and Allan is residing in the farmhouse.
In order to make that transition as smooth as possible, both families have together invested in the farmhouse to ensure that it is as up to standard, including the installation of a new heating system and new bathroom. With Hugh still devoting time to the running of the farm, money was also spent creating a comfortable office beside the house where farm administration can be handled.