Professional advice is invaluable when running an estate

If you think that owning a Highland estate bears any resemblance to the ‘Monarch of the Glen’ picture perfect ideal of tramping through the purple heather with a pack of black labradors, then brace yourself for a big reality check!

Land management in Scotland is under a microscope like never before with the Scottish Government’s legislative framework setting out objectives and principles which put communities at the heart of decision making in an effort to improve how land in Scotland is owned, used and managed.

Gone are the days where estates could operate in splendid isolation, modern  owners have a responsibility as landowners to manage the land in a way that delivers lasting economic, social and environmental wellbeing to the community.

And while many landowners do indeed have the privilege of living and working in this unique environment, it takes an enormous amount of hard graft to stay on top of the increasingly onerous administrative and legislative burden that makes an estate tick.

The current pandemic has also added to this workload with a sharp rise in visitor numbers as people escape the towns and villages to walk, cycle, ride or paddle down rivers and camp overnight. While the majority of these visitors are responsible, landowners are seeing a worrying increase in dog mess, dirty camping, gates being left open and fly tipping.

It is important to get over the message that the countryside is also a home and workplace to people and wildlife, and help visitors understand their responsibilities and behave in a way which does not cause damage or annoyance to others.

Yet despite these challenges, land ownership can still be a pleasure rather than a pain! From sporting and mixed estates to farmers and crofters at the other end of the spectrum, Bell Ingram’s land managers help our clients to navigate the raft of ever-changing rules and regulations. Whether it be heather management, predator control or simply trying to improve their land and the amenity of their asset, we support our landowning clients to keep on top of the changes to legislation.

The bottom line is that time is finite and while you add more hours to the day, you can engage an agent to create some distance between you and some of the challenges associated with land ownership, thereby giving you time and energy to enjoy the land that you own. Clear communication between you and your agent is key, as with that and trust built up through shared experiences, the relationship can be very fruitful.

Bell Ingram currently oversees hundreds of thousands of acres on behalf of a wide portfolio of clients. Our bespoke, personal service ensures our clients maximise their assets and comply with the ever changing rural management requirements.

Rob Whitson

Partner
Rural Land Management
Highland
Tel: 07703 822739 (mob) 01463 717 799

Article posted on 16/03/2021

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