The Farm Award rewards businesses which have been making a steady and consistent contribution to the landscape and environment for a number of years, or those who have changed their management practices to make a real difference to the environment
This year’s winner will be announced here on Friday. Stay tuned!
Ruthven Farm is a 300 Ha mixed livestock farm situated in the River Avon catchment in Glen Conglass near Tomintoul and is tenanted by Jim Simmons and his family.
Ruthven Farm has a history of agri-environmental work since Mr Simmons took the tenancy in 2006, including; 2 schemes through the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) (2007 – 2013).
Through these schemes, the farm undertook management options including those which benefited a variety of key species and habitats highlighted in the Cairngorms Nature Action Plan.
Jim was awarded the 2016 Cairngorms Nature Farm Award as recognition of his unique approach to integrated farm management. This included the use of his farm woodlands to provide shelter as well as the massive amounts of woodland creation, for habitat, for shelter and to ease the effects of flooding further downstream. As well as that, Jim has provided wet feeding sites for wading birds on the farm.
“The way we farm is a four pronged approach, we start with a favourable habitat, we have a farm management plan, but crucially we have the support of the Crown Estate and benefit from the wider sporting management of the estate. I am a firm believer that our success comes from all these four elements working in partnership.” – Jim Simmons
Gallovie is a 250 Ha mixed livestock and arable farm on the banks of the river Dulnain near Grantown-on-Spey.
“It’s always nice to see bird life doing well; it’s a sign of a healthy farm. A little bit of extra attention here and there can make a big difference to wildlife, without having any impact on your business” – Neil Gordon
The farm is run by Neil Gordon and is a successful commercial unit. Easter Gallovie has been an important part of the RSPB Wading Birds Survey for the past 10 years and has been identified as an important breeding site for wetland and wading birds.
Neil was awarded the 2015 Cairngorms Nature Farm Award as appreciation for his hard work and dedication to providing a wonderful habitat for the Cairngorms.
Nationally important population of breeding waders. Neil’s work, through ditch re-profiling, creating wet feeding sites and improving habitats has been so successful, wading bird numbers have more than doubled on Easter Gallovie in the last 5 years.