The Estate woodlands extend to just over 1300 hectares (approx 3200 acres) and are a mixture of commercial conifer woodlands, farm woodlands and policy/sporting/shelter woodlands nearer to the main Estate residence / Estate Farm.
The species present in the main commercial conifer blocks are predominantly high yielding Sitka spruce but also contain attractive areas of Douglas fir, Hybrid larch, Scots pine and Norway spruce. Mixed broadleaves present include: Oak, Beech, Sycamore, Cherry, Birch, Rowan, Hazel, Alder and Willow.
The woodlands are managed under a Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) Long Term Plan (LTP), with a new LTP to be produced soon, when the second rotation starts to come into a new annual felling/restructuring phase. The woodlands are all FSC certified and audited under the UK Forest Standard and UK Woodland Assurance Standard – showing that sustainable long term management is the objective; the woodlands requiring to meet high standards of landscape design, biodiversity enhancement, public access provision as well as economic timber sustainability for the Estate. The woodlands are managed by one full time forester and contractors under guidance by Scottish Woodlands Ltd.
The commercial planting commenced on the Estate in 1955-1957 in the Loch Roan block before progressing onto Falbae 1958-1960, Poundland 1961-1963 then on to the Mochrum/Little Mochrum 1964–1973. All first rotation forestry has now been felled and restocked between 1990-2011; much of the felling having been brought forward by severe damage following the Boxing Day gale in 1998 (300 hectares blown).
Following additional farm woodland planting (under Farm Woodland Premium Scheme) from 1993 to the present date, circa 60% of the Estate is now woodland. The majority of the commercial woodlands/newer farm woodlands are aged 2-24 years old and are very fast growing. There are areas within the policy woodlands that are 50-150 years old and are very diverse providing lovely walks and views over Loch Ken. The woodlands have a mostly southerly aspect and grow on gently undulating land-elevations ranging from 80 metres (near Loch Ken) to 340 metres (summit of Mochrum Fell) with good soil fertility. There are numerous attractive ponds within the woodlands created both for waterfowl/aquatic flora but also as potential water supplies for forest fire control. The estate deer (almost 100% roe deer) are managed under an FC Deer Management Plan by the Estate Wildlife Manager.
We captured circa 14000 tonnes of carbon per year, which equates to 14600 tonnes of CO2, roughly that produced by 128 people per year. We strive to be an environmentally sustainable estate and seek to minimise our Carbon Footprint. Numerous properties on the Estate are heated with sustainable sourced estate timber and we sell wood fuel locally through our WoodFuel business, of which further detail can be found on this site.