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Agriculture is a fundamental part of Scotland’s economy – and it’s our responsibility to make sure that farming and the environment benefit one another.

Around three quarters of Scotland’s land area is used for agriculture – that’s more than 5.5 million hectares.

Most of this is used as grassland for rearing livestock – about a fifth is used for arable farming, with the most productive land located in the east.

Modern farming activities can have a significant influence on the landscape, on the quality of the wider environment, and on the diversity of habitats.

In most cases – and this is largely due to the work of farmers – this influence is positive. However, where agriculture has the potential to negatively affect the environment, it is our responsibility to enforce a number of environmental regulations.

This section is designed to offer information and guidance to farmers and those interested in farming activities, and to help promote sustainable agriculture in Scotland.