Community & Collaboration
Together, the Balcarres, Balcaskie, Elie, Gilston, Kilconquhar and Strathtyrum estates cover some 6,000 hectares across the East Neuk – roughly 6% of Fife’s agricultural land.
Individually and collectively we are very committed to the communities of the East Neuk, and that commitment and interdependence has existed in some instances for more than six centuries.
Today, as across the centuries, we continue to farm the land. But this would not be possible without the support of the local community. We employ people directly and indirectly who live on and near the East Neuk. Our work helps to produce food of the highest quality: national companies purchase much as they recognise the outstanding benefits afforded by Scottish produce.
Increasingly, we are looking to sell our produce be it crops or livestock to as local a market as possible, sometimes seeing it appear on the menus of local pubs and restaurants, again, helping to sustain our local economy. In addition to our farming, we contribute to the life of the East Neuk in many other ways:
Education: we provide facilities to a local school and also work closely with the Royal Highland Education Trust. Over the years, this has seen thousands of school children from the area’s urban schools enjoy days out on the farms to experience what we do first hand.
Environment: as custodians of part of one of the most beautiful landscapes in Scotland, we take great care of our woodlands – planting new trees that will be enjoyed by future generations as well as managing existing trees for today’s needs of wildlife and timber. Also, we supply water to a number of the area’s houses that are on private supplies.
Community: we provide premises to a number of local, voluntary organisations.
Tourism: we help to maintain the East Neuk’s roads and paths for our neighbours and visitors to the region to enjoy.
We recognise that the landscape and its wildlife is important to everyone and we try to ensure that we find the right balance in what is a wonderfully intricate and beautiful part of Scotland. To this end, we work on numerous projects with key partners and stakeholders Fife Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB, GWCT, Historic Scotland and SEPA.
As custodians of our landscape, we hope that people living on and around the estates will benefit from our long-term approach and management.