Region

North East

North East

North East

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A warm welcome to the North East regional page of the Scottish Land & Estates website.  The North East region includes all of Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City; from Banff down to Angus and from Huntly across to Stonehaven.

We represent all land and rural-property owners and land-based businesses in the North East.  Our members range from highly diversified estate businesses to owner -managed farms, and the professionals and businesses that support them.  Their diverse interests include agriculture, food and drink, tourism, forestry, renewable energy and the provision of affordable housing.

David Fyffe, Chairman of the North East Committee, owns and manages Fetternear Estate in Aberdeenshire. He created Scotland’s first rural business centre at Fetternear in 1992.  David plays a very active role, representing the diverse views and interests of our North East members.

Fiona Van Aardt is the North East Regional Support Officer. Originally from Ayrshire, Fiona returned to Scotland in 2015 after spending 13 years running a 5,000 hectare estate in Tanzania. She now lives on a farm near Aberlour in Speyside. She has a background in business management with over 25 years’ experience of running companies and delivering projects and events. 

David and Fiona, together with the NE committee, are responsible for delivering the regional workplan. Priorities include raising awareness of the positive contribution of members and their businesses to the North East economy and their local communities, as well as representing members’ interests by building strong relationships with local politicians and key stakeholders in the region.

To contact Fiona van Aardt, please email: fiona.vanaardt@scottishlandandestates.co.uk or call: 0131 653 5400/ 07483 054 290

TW Follow Fiona on Twitter at @FionaVanAardt

If you are a member of SLE, please log in and return to the regional pages to access to minutes and announcements from previous regional committee meetings.

 

Updates from the North East 

How do we future-proof our businesses? How do we build resilience into our operations when we are faced with an unprecedented level of uncertainty." "

This was the key theme of the 2019 NE Members’ Event and these are key questions which the owners and managers of Glenrinnes Estate & Distillery have been asking as they prepare and position the business for the future. 

A brisk canter through the regional update by NE Chair David Fyffe was followed by presentations from our Glenrinnes hosts. First up, family member and co-founder Alex Christou, captivated the audience with the story of his family’s purchase of the estate in the early 1990s, the ethos that has underpinned its development and the birth of Glenrinnes Distillery and start-up drinks business Eight Lands. Alex gave a fascinating insight into the diversification journey from organic farming estate to becoming the only organic white spirit producer in Speyside. Born out of a passion for the land and nature, and the desire of the family to create a lasting legacy, the natural capital of the land has been embraced - from botanicals foraged on the estate to the fresh Speyside spring water that flows past the distillery at the foot of Ben Rinnes.

Estate manager, Alister Laing took participants through the organic farming, crops and livestock, the continued development of the shooting and the new deer farm. Like many resilient businesses, Glenrinnes has looked at how risks can be turned into opportunities, the key message being that no business can afford to stand still. What next … well, with the growth of tourism in the North East, Glenrinnes is strongly positioned. The incredible sense of place and heritage, the richness of natural capital, quality food and drink offerings. Alister gave us a brief glimpse of what the future might hold – adding value to game meat, farm shop, café … Could estate tourism be the new trend? 

" "These thoughts were taken up by Matthew Havers of Strutt & Parker, our event sponsor, who provided key insights on what makes a resilient business. Most interesting were the parallels drawn between approaches to developing great rural places and the future plans of Glenrinnes.

Our Chairman David Johnstone gave us a punchy organisational update and overview of the national picture and priorities before the much-anticipated panel session. North East events never fail to deliver when it comes to the Q&A element, and it was no surprise that the recurring themes of energy efficiency regulation and land reform featured strongly.

And with such a spirited end to the event, it only made sense to sample a small taste of the Eight Lands organic spirits… Sláinte…

To contact Fiona van Aardt, please email: fiona.vanaardt@scottishlandandestates.co.uk or call: 0131 653 5400/ 07483 054 290

TW Follow Fiona on Twitter at @FionaVanAardt

If you are a member of SLE, please log in and return to the regional pages to access to minutes and announcements from previous regional committee meetings.