Caerlaverock is a well-known name in the South West of Scotland, whether it be for its National Nature Reserve, its Medieval Castle, or its ancient forts watching over the Solway Firth, but few know the extent to which the community still interacts with the estates and visa-versa.
Covering over 5000 acres, the estate has a wonderful array of landscapes, from mudflats and merse, to mature woodlands and rolling fertile grassland and fields. The estate is a strong key member of the community. It is employer, landlord to tenant farmers, local families, local businesses and even caravans, and it supports the conservation and promotion of sustainable woodland.
The estates agricultural land is partly farmed in-hand, with 1000 acres farmed by the estate, with the remainder tenanted. There are 16 tenanted units which are let on a variety of durations and tenure
For the woodland management, the estate has taken a policy to replace its Sika Spruce plantations when they reach maturity, with native deciduous woodlands, which are beneficial to wildlife and for public access. The more mature woodlands are now being cared for through a woodlots scheme, where two woodlot tenants have taken leases over the woodlands and are able to manage and extract wood in line with good woodland management.
The estate also provides a number of cottages on the estate and within the neighbouring villages which are let on long term leases to local families, all at reasonable rents, in a desire to help sustain the local community.
The estate further supports the local community by providing premises both rural and within the village for small local businesses which would otherwise struggle to find premises in the area and/or affordable. The diverse range of businesses extends from restoration classic cars, picture framer and stone mason. There is also a small Caravan site within the estate which too is operated by a local business and it is leased from the estate.
Caerlaverock is a true example of a family and estate which for centuries has been the guardian of its lands, and who throughout that history has been a pillar within the local community, and that role has continued to evolve into its current role today.