Cardney Estate is a microcosm of Scotland and an exemplar of rural diversification. The estate has transformed from a purely sporting one to now hosting high quality weddings and events, practicing organic farming, planting significant areas of new native woodland, managing ancient woodlands, producing commercial timber, promoting responsible deer management, carrying out sporting days and permitted fishing and encouraging public access where feasible. All this packed into 1,900 acres of mixed hill ground, grazing, ancient woodland and lochs. [They] feel that Cardney is an exemplar in rural diversification and sustainability and are keen to enter this years awards.
Cardney Estate sits on the Highland Boundary fault and has the some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland. The landscape, woodland, water and land-use all come together to create a very special setting. At Cardney the transition from a purely sporting estate to the diversity of land-uses that exist now, was a very challenging one. None of the woodlands on the estate had been in management for several decades, so with next generation ownership, long-term sustainable forest planning and forest management operations is seeing the felling of 13 hectares of mature conifers which are being replanted, thinning of mature Oakwoods to create light in the canopy and opportunities for underplanting young Oak and the proposed planting of 184 ha of new native woodland on the upper hill ground.
The estate also hosts Birken Tree, the only commercial Scottish producer of Birchwater, who actively promote the management and sustainability of native woodlands and provide a woodland management service. The estate has now also moved to organic farming and supports sheep and Highland Cows. Careful thinning and management of the estate's Birchwoods means it is now self-sufficient in firewood, heating 4 holiday homes, 3 estate houses and also the wedding venue. A robust deer management plan is also in place to ensure an annual sustainable cull is carried out, allowing both sporting, woodland and farming to site side by side.