Farming and the Natural Environment
Our natural environment is everything to us. It supports and sustains all of our farming operations, ensures the properties we restore and maintain can be let to those who choose to make their homes in this stunning area – and is the backdrop for us, our families and those we employ both directly and indirectly on the East Neuk.
We are proud of the work we have done. We are committed to the work that needs to be done. This is not just for the benefit of our estates, but for the wider communities that are in and around our homes. Each estate takes that responsibility seriously and, collectively, we work with numerous partners and stakeholders in the area to protect and promote this corner of Scotland.
On an educational front, we work with the Royal Highland Educational Trust. Each year, children from Levenmouth Primary Schools in Methilhill, Buckhaven, Mountfleurie, St Agathas and Kennoway have a day out on Gilston to learn about many aspects of life and work on a country estate. The activities for the children – and their teachers – are designed to “feed the senses”. They discover our work in forestry, game-keeping and the management and enhancement of the environment for wildlife conservation.
They take part in pond dipping, learn about crops, dress up as a forester and witness sheep shearing at close quarters. It all adds up to an unforgettable experience. Gilston relies on volunteers from numerous local companies and organisations to make it happen Elmwood College, BASC, Quaker Oats in Cupar, Kettle Produce, Branston Potatoes, Scottish Natural Heritage, Quality Meat Scotland and Fife Countryside Rangers as well as volunteer local farmers and Balcaskie Estate team. It is a real collaborative effort that benefits hundreds of local children every year.