Taking responsibility as custodians of the land

Management of land and property on Invercauld Estate is founded on the principle of sustainability. This has come about through many generations of ownership and management by the Farquharson family which continues to the present day.

The delivery of sustainability is in three areas- the local economy, the environment and the community, all of which are seen as integral to the running of a modern Highland Estate by the Farquharson family. The relationship between investment in the local economy, protecting the environment from degradation and biodiversity loss, and working with the communities which live on Invercauld Estate, are seen as integral to the sustainability of the unit as a whole.

As one of the largest employers in Upper Deeside, Invercauld currently employs around 24 full-time members of staff and many more on a seasonal basis throughout the year on part-time and other contracts. This stability in providing employment, which has lasted many decades, stretching back in some cases to the origins of the communities themselves, helps form an important element of the local economy in what is a remote and sparsely populated part of Scotland.

Most of our business turnover is spent locally, managing the moorland, tracks, rivers and forests for example. As well as employment, this includes paying for local materials such as through building supply firms, quarries and vets and hiring a large number of local contractors including electricians, plumbers, tree planters, painters and decorators and digger drivers to name but a few. Some products produced by the Estate and its tenants, such as timber, honey and venison, are also processed by other local enterprises, helping to generate a degree of independence from external and global factors, all the more important with contemporary national and international instability.

Shooting, fishing, stalking and the operation of Braemar Caravan Park also help to bring in thousands of people to holiday in upper Deeside and Perthshire each year. These visitors help support the various shops, restaurants and hotels that are, in turn, an important element of the local community. Increasingly, the Estate is used by local guides providing tourists with nature experiences.

The Estate is managed for a wide range of habitats. These range from the banks of ancient rivers, where tree planting programmes are in place to help provide shade for salmon and pearl mussels, through grasslands used for sheep farming, planted (for timber) and naturally regenerating woodland, to moorland and montane regions. This helps maintain a diverse environment supporting a wide array of plants, animals, invertebrates and fungi.

The scenery is there for everyone to enjoy. Over half of the Estate is designated for its national or international environmental importance and looking after these areas for the future is integral to activity on the Estate.

A survey of red and amber breeding birds in 2020 identified 1,117 breeding pairs across 37 different species. Much of this success is down to the activities of our staff who are embedded in the local community and experienced in delivering healthy habitats.

While great attention is paid to the natural world, our attention is also focused on the lives of the people who work on it, live on it and thrive on it.