18th February 2011

Aberdeenshire Estate’s Woodlands Delivering Livestock Benefits

An extensive programme of woodland planting on Auchmacoy Estate near Ellon in Aberdeenshire has created valuable shelter for livestock and crops in an area of exposed flat land close to the North Sea.

The woodland planting programme at Auchmacoy Estate, one of the Livestock and Woodland Focus Farms established by Quality Meat Scotland and the Forestry Commission Scotland, has also opened up opportunities for timber production and sporting enterprise.

The estate also illustrates how farms can maximise the economic benefits of woodland whilst maintaining stock numbers.

A herd of around fifty pedigree Lincoln Red cattle plus followers has been built up on the estate by Mr and Mrs Charles Buchan. There are plans to continue expanding the herd which sees much of the stock reared on the sheltered woodland ground being sold for breeding in England.

Over the last forty years Auchmacoy Estate has focused on a large programme of woodland planting. Careful consideration regarding geographical location and shelterbelt design as well as management and planning for felling and restocking, form part of the discussion to be held at the latest Livestock and Woodlands Focus Farm Meeting which will include a tour of the estate.

As part of the initiative, facilitated by SAC, the meeting will also look at technical issues such as the potential biosecurity benefits of putting distance and barriers between neighbouring stock, as well as the diffusing of pollution and water course protection created by woodland plantations.

With the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheduled for introduction in April this year the Focus Meeting will also look at woodfuel and timber production, including the management and production of firewood and how to sell the end product.

The Auchmacoy Estate Livestock and Woodlands Focus Farm Meeting will be held on Wednesday 23rd February at 1.30pm.

Speakers at this free event will include Simon Jacyna, SAC Woodlands Consultant, Ian Pritchard, SAC Animal Health Scheme Manager & Beef Specialist, and Steve Brown, FCS Woodland Officer.

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