SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has made a direct appeal to the Duke of Buccleuch to show compassion towards the Telfers – a tenant farming couple facing removal from their farm.
Ms McAlpine’s letter to the wealthy aristocrat comes on the day factors from Buccleuch Estates are to value David and Alison Telfer’s sheep before their imminent sale.
The Estate wishes to move the hefted sheep off Cleuchfoot Farm’s high ground to secure lucrative planting grants for commercial forestry.
The rest of the farm is being sold next year, as part of the Evertown Portfolio, when David and Alison will be forced out of their home of 20 years.
An online petition, started by political activist organisation 38 degrees, in support of the couple has gained more than 18,000 signatures.
Ms McAlpine, the South Scotland MSP, said:
“The Duke promised local people at a meeting in Langholm this year that he would listen to them when it came to land use. There is real and righteous anger at the clearing of the Telers from the estate – particularly when they previously recieved verbal assurances that they could stay.
“The Duke’s factors have failed to listen so I am appealing to him directly. If he has any compassion he will allow them to stay at Cleuchfoot until they retire in four or five years. “
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