Preserving the Highland livestock farming tradition

Due to relatively poor soil quality and difficult growing conditions, the majority of Invercauld is unviable for growing crops destined for human consumption. Most farming, therefore, revolves around grazing for livestock, principally sheep and some cattle reared on the lower ground. Sheep are grazed on moorland from spring to early autumn before ‘being wintered’ on the valley floor either on the Estate or in other parts of Scotland. There is only one farm, located to the east of Ballater, where some of the fields are used to grow barley (for cattle feed).

The Estate lets out 18 farms, covering 10,458 hectares, on a variety of different types of tenancy. A further 23,070 hectares of farmland is used by a significant number of local farmers for summer grazing whilst the Estate also runs its own small flock of principally blackface sheep.