Profiles/ Francis Ogilvy, Winton Estate, East Lothian

Francis Ogilvy, Winton Estate, East Lothian

Winton Estate is a family estate with a fascinating past; what we do now we do with an eye to the future (obviously!). In size – we’re akin to a good Borders farm; in diversity – a traditional mix of huge house, several cottages, five farms and one third planted as woodland.

Being bold – humbly!

Activities of growing crops and timber, sustaining communities and offering hospitality are centuries old; no revolution here – just a modern interpretation to them.

Winton Estate is not static. We may sometimes appear slow and with a long way to go but we offer the best we can do rather than necessarily best practice, copying what we like from elsewhere. Like others, we have through diversity, opportunities to integrate resources whilst operating with common constraints.

Our values promote these agendas:
  • Green – local and global. We acquired fame without fortune after installing a woodchip district heating system using our own timber for Winton House [] and 5 cottages. With few then to copy, others now have better examples of this and it’s time we followed them.
  • Economic – short-term realism and long term aspirations. Currently working on sharing farm steadings and equipment to simplify, rationalise and free up resources for tourism development.
  • Social – family and the wider community. We’re keen to employ locally in the provision of hospitality, source suppliers locally and to provide access locally.

Standing out and up

Throw all this into a pot and we have a good blend. We recognise the privilege and responsibility linked with estates. We try to leave behind beauty, sometimes extravagantly, hopefully practically and necessarily within budget. We brand elements as unique to stand out and be found for good business.

Membership of Scottish Land & Estates is considered necessary because the organisation stands up and exerts a positive influence on many aspects of land management. In recent years this has included both legislative matters and more practical workshops and seminars which addressed themes common to many across Scotland.

Scottish Land & Estates

  • Has earned influence and it demonstrates sympathy for a rural way of life without being out of touch with modern opinion.
  • Offers a strong voice both in defence and attack - always constructively.
  • Arches like an umbrella for others, filtering with wise heads the conflicting expectations on the countryside and drawing out ideas.
  • Links to a range of contacts which, for a naturally diverse set of businesses, can prove enormously valuable.
Scottish Land & Estates provides, therefore a significant contribution to how our land is shaped for the future. I commend it to you!

Francis Ogilvy is a trustee and managing agent for Winton Estate through Chalmers & Co. More information is available from Winton Estate’s website and Chalmers & Co’s website

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