Yesterday I tweeted about the sale of the Rothbury Estate expressing no more than my concern about the impact on people. From comments about this sale many have latched onto the fact that Knight Frank are marketing this as a ring fenced carbon offset opportunity. This has created all sorts of concerns and comments fearing the creation of mono-cultures of softwood trees and the destruction of moorland by reverting it to scrub.
Now, whilst I understand it being marketed in such a way I hope that it is not seen as a cold investment opportunity by some obscure fund or investors at home or abroad without consideration of people.
Look at the brochure for the sale of the Estate and you will see five long term Agricultural Holdings Act Tenant farms as well as 4 Farm business Tenancies. You will see 23 residential properties, a pub, a caravan site besides acres of managed farms, woodland peat and moor as well as riversides. All these things affect people, their livelihoods and their communities.
I feel and have concern for the uncertainty the prospective sale of such a large estate creates for scores of people. My hope is that whoever buys it does not see it as the cold investment that part of the marketing implies, but rather sees it as a responsibility, not just to the environment, but to the people who live and work on the Estate as well as the wider supporting community.
The people of the Rothbury Estate and the area deserve no less.