Roe deer make their way through the January snowKellie Castle in the January snow (2013)Isle of May at dusk, from over CarnbeeRoe Deer in the snow (2013)A late spring dusting of snow on Kellie LawSheep in a designed landscapeFresh-cut silage in front of Kellie LawOver Kellie in the snow (2013)Luing Cattle enjoy the best view in the East Neuk (August 2012)A summer's day at BalcaskieA swallow hunts for flies in the duskHives on BalcaskieSwallows help with the pest-control at BalcaskieBalcaskie Estate

Balcaskie

Beef cattle enjoy the early summer grass at Balcaskie

As well as providing land for others to rent and farm, Balcaskie also farms in its own right.

Operating over some 850 hectares, Balcaskie runs a mixed farm with both livestock and arable enterprises.  Having both animals and crops makes the farming more complicated, but ensures we run a more balanced system; using our own straw for bedding and other crops to nourish our livestock, then fertilizing the ground with farmyard manure, reducing our reliance on chemical fertilizers and keeping our land in good heart.

We are members of LEAF - Linking the Environment & Farming - and believe that it is our responsibility to produce good food in a way that fully respects our responsibilities to the environment and to future generations.

We have been farming in-hand since 2007 (following the purchase of this farm) and while we recognise that it will take time gently to manage the farm in line with our aspirations, we are working hard towards that goal.  

In 2009 we renewed our centre of arable farming.  Our barley now goes to make some of the finest single Malt whisky in Scotland as well as one of the finest real ales in the United Kingdom.  In 2010 we were planting hedges, and hedges, and ... in total some 37 kilometres of new hedge, protected by about 54 kilometres of new fences.  We also planted about 10 hectares of new woodland.  

In 2011 and 2012, with the continued help of the Scottish Government and the European Community, we are investing in our cattle buildings to ensure we can provide clean, safe and healthy housing for our beef herd and increasing the capacity of our silage clamps to give us the opportunity to produce more homegrown fodder to feed the herd through the winter.

2013 will see continued efforts to restore health and structure to our soils.  We are also beginning to be able to see our new hedges coming through - though it will be a few years yet before they live up to their potential as a wildlife habitat.  Our extended field margins are, however, already making a huge difference.

We look forward to keeping you up to date with our progress.

"We are striving to produce the highest quality food in a beautiful and sustainable environment"