Walk & Talk: Wildlife and Farming at South Clunes Farm, Kirkhill, nr Inverness with the West Loch Ness Farmer Cluster

Time 10:00 - 13:00
Capacity This event is currently fully booked. To be added to our waiting list click here
Booking Cut-off Monday 23 May, 12:00:pm
Organiser Fiona Van Aardt
This Event has passed its booking cutoff date.

South Clunes is a traditional upland farm running a thousand cross ewes and 60 Luing cattle across 900 acres. Historically South Clunes produced store cattle, lambs (all finished on-farm) and 300 acres of hay. However, due to various factors (including input costs and mindset change) the farm is starting to move towards a more regenerative agricultural model that is less reliant on inputs. This has stemmed from a more holistic view of the farm and the wider ecosystem in which it sits. This approach led Chris and Fred Swift to explore the potential benefits of working with their neighbours to start the West Loch Ness Farmer Cluster. The cluster puts wildlife and biodiversity at the heart of land management over a total of approximately 15,000 acres. The land includes a wide range of habitats and landscapes; riparian areas, lowland and upland farmland, traditional hill farmland, mixed forestry and in-shore marine habitats. Each of the participating landowners, while already championing a variety of positive environmental policies on their own land, recognised that in order to progress further, they need to work collaboratively to achieve landscape-scale changes. 

Members are warmly invited to join this Walk & Talk hosted by Fred Swift of South Clunes Farm, members of the West Loch Ness Farmer Cluster and Ross Macleod (GWCT’s Head of Policy for Scotland and facilitator of the farmer cluster).

The following key topics will be covered in the morning programme:

  • Landscape-scale approaches to wildlife and farming (the origins, some of the challenges in Scotland, where NatureScot and Scot Gov are heading)
  • The benefits of the farmer cluster approach and how members see the cluster developing
  • South Clunes journey towards regenerative agriculture
  • An introduction to carbon audits and natural capital assessments - and the experience at GWCT’s Auchnerran demonstration farm

The Walk & Talk around South Clunes Farm will give participants the opportunity to see and discuss -on the ground - approaches to managing wildlife and farming, and examples of the collaborative landscape-scale projects being undertaken by the farmer cluster.

This event is free of charge to SLE Members, but booking is essential through the SLE website.


Additional event information:

Format of the event: Participants will gather at the farm buildings where tea and coffee will be available on arrival. The Walk & Talk will open with short introductions to the key topics before we head out to see practical examples of how South Clunes are placing wildlife and biodiversity at the heart of a busy farming operation.

We’ll then return to the farm buildings for further discussions and refreshments.

Address: South Clunes Farm, South Clunes, Kirkhill, Inverness, IV5 7PT

Other information: This event will take place outdoors so please bring suitable clothing and footwear.

Booking information: Booking is essential. To secure your place please book online today.

Cost: Free for members

Date: Wednesday 25 May, 2022

Time: 10:00-13:00

Meeting point: Farm buildings of South Clunes Farm. Parking available in farm yard.

Click here for directions to South Clunes Farm

This Event has passed its booking cutoff date.