Community & Conservation

 Community & Conservation

The 42,000 acre Cawdor Estate is today owned in Trust on behalf of the Campbell family. The Trustees, as custodians of the Estate, are responsible for the long-term strategic development of an exceptionally diverse organisation engaging in a wide range of commercial, conservational and community activities.

In the 21st Century, land use and ownership in the Scottish Highlands have become increasingly complex and contentious issues. Scotland’s large estates have been subject to rising scrutiny; locally, nationally and globally. In response, the Trustees and management of Cawdor Estate endeavour to engage with the concerns and expectations of local communities and the wider population. Today we are committed to a policy of sensitive, yet proactive, land management. Our goal is to strike a balance between commercial viability, environmental sustainability and community responsibility, and by doing so secure the future of Cawdor Estate for generations to come.

We are achieving this ambition in partnership with a variety of stakeholders, including our agricultural, commercial and residential tenants, local community groups, local businesses and statutory authorities. Through significant financial investment and the granting of secure long-term leases we have been able to help a number of local businesses to diversify and prosper. We have also been able to benefit the local community by making land available for community projects. One instance of this is our recent partnership with Highland Council, which resulted in the building of a new village primary school and community centre in 2007.

Together with involvement in these more ‘visual’ large-scale capital projects, Cawdor Estate continues to play a vital behind-the-scenes role in the economy of the region. We directly employ thirty permanent members of staff, along with a large number of seasonal workers. We currently let twelve farms on long-term tenancy agreements, the flexibility of which has allowed some of our tenants to diversify into related activities. We also lease properties to a large number of local businesses: this property portfolio includes office units, craft and light industrial workshops, storage units; as well as Cawdor village shop and the local Boat Club’s yard.

Our commitment to the local community is matched by our commitment to the conservation of the natural landscape and the delicate eco-system it supports. Our conservation work centers upon maintaining an environment in which native species of plants and wildlife can flourish. For instance, in recent years careful management of our purple heather moorlands and native woodlands has seen the return of black grouse and capercaillie to the Estate. We are also working in conjunction with outside agencies to bring further enhancements to the local ecology. We have recently joined hands with the Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Fisheries Trust to promote sustainable management of river resources and fish populations in the River Findhorn.

Changing times have also brought changing attitudes towards conservation and land use. In the 21st Century it has become increasingly pressing that we harness our abundance of natural resources here in the Scottish Highlands, in order to generate sustainable energy supplies for future generations. We at Cawdor Estate are playing our part by developing a number of small and environmentally sensitive schemes; all with a manageable eco-footprint. These projects include the construction of Tom nan Clach Wind Farm and a micro-hydroelectric scheme in the Drynachan Valley.

We believe that we are developing a progressive commercial business here at Cawdor Estate; one that is creating something of value beyond immediate financial return; one that is making a positive impact upon the health and well-being of the local community; one that will bequeath a sustainable environment for future generations to enjoy.

If you would like to know more about Cawdor Estate’s commercial, community and environmental activities or letting opportunities, and/or are interested in working in partnership with us, please contact the Estate Office on 01667 404666 or