Auchnerran occupies 1,030 acres (417 ha) of hill-edge land near Logie Coldstone on Deeside in Aberdeenshire. It is located on the edge of a bowl-shaped geographical feature known as the Howe of Cromar.
- The farm is highly typical mixed arable, grass and wooded farmland: 20% arable/ploughable, 30% pasture, 40% rough grazing and 10% wood/other.
- The farm lies adjacent to 12,300 acres (5,000 ha) of heather moorland owned by Dinnet Estate, which is summer grazed by our hefted sheep flock of 1,400 ewes.
- Agricultural short limited duration tenancies (SLDTs) have been secured over both the farmland and moorland grazing.
- The SLDTs include the right to claim all available subsidy; basic payment, and other support for maintaining sheep grazing to benefit the moor’s conservation.
- The moorland and farming grazing could support a hill flock of up to 1,800 sheep and a lowland flock. In the future cattle may expand the commercial operation of the farm.
- This type of farming is typical of 36% of Scottish farmland and supports 24,500 jobs. The work of Auchnerran will also be relevant to those who farm the 3.3m ha of grass-dominated agriculture in southwest and northwest England, and Northern Ireland.
- In Scotland this type of farmland can be home to much game and wildlife but is coming under increasing economic pressure with consequences for the wildlife: for example 15 years ago grey partridge were common but are now increasingly absent, and lapwing and curlew numbers are also declining sharply.
- We want to demonstrate what farming is necessary to retain the wildlife we have and how we might actively manage biodiversity back into Scottish upland farms.
Click on the cropping map below to see what we're doing on the farm: