Bamff House © Dave Maric

Bamff House © Dave Maric

Access to the stunning countryside at Bamff Estate for the local community and visitors is getting a big boost from Drumderg Community Fund.

Nearly £13,000 of SSE Renewables funding via Drumderg has been awarded to develop a path network around Bamff Estate – an eco-estate on the edge of the Highlands – including the installation of new self-closing gates and waymarkers along the routes as well as the development of an illustrated map and leaflet of the new path network.

Bamff Estate - Rewildling © Dave Maric

Bamff Estate Rewilding © Dave Maric

The project will be managed by Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT), working in partnership with Bamff Estate and Alyth Development Trust, and will tie in with biodiversity and climate change mitigating projects and ambitions on the Estate.

Ecological restoration at Bamff began in the early 1990s with the recreation of wetlands through reverse drainage schemes and the planting of various native woodlands – from farm woodland schemes on the low ground to native pinewoods on the hill. This was followed in 2002 by the pioneering introduction of beavers. Now, at the start of the 2020s, there are plans to undertake a rewilding project to create a richly biodiverse area of wild land out of 166 hectares of marginal farmland and plantations.

Bamff Estate - beaver © Dave Maric

Bamff Estate beaver© Dave Maric

Andrew Barrie, PKCT Strategic Routes Officer, said:

Tourism and recreation are key aspects of the rural economy, so we are looking to develop this project with the local community to create exciting new infrastructure to capitalise on stay-cation and local visitor numbers.

Also, on the biodiversity side of things, many local people benefit from the opportunities for wildlife watching and photography, and many local groups have benefitted from free guided tours of the rewilding project.

Drumderg’s funding for better countryside access will give the wider community a great opportunity to learn about rewilding and explore parts of Bamff Estate that have had no previous history of public access.

Sophie Ramsay of Bamff Estate said:

We are very grateful to the SSE Renewables Drumderg Fund for helping Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust to support us in our aim to open up new walking trails through our land. Bamff, along with the Alyth Development Trust, has aspirations to lead Scotland on climate and biodiversity action and along with rewilding, sees public access as an essential aspect – offering healthy, enjoyable alternatives to driving and flying abroad for recreation. We are confident that these paths will add to the amenity for locals and attract more low impact tourism into the area, also benefitting the local economy.

Kevin Coe of Alyth Development Trust said:

This is great news for the community of Alyth and we’re delighted to be supporting PKCT and Bamff Estate in such an exciting project. Our main aim as a Trust is to make Alyth a great place to live, a great place to work, a welcoming place to visit and a place that is accessible to all. Opening up more of our wonderful countryside for all to enjoy while also promoting more environmentally-friendly leisure and tourism opportunities is a key part of achieving that aim and this project ticks all those boxes.

Craig Mullen, SSE Renewables Community Investment Manager said:

The Drumderg Panel are delighted to help PKCT develop this new path network. It was seen as a great opportunity to promote the area to those from near and far for years to come.

Bamff Estate - Rewilding tree planting © Dave Maric

Bamff Estate - Rewilding tree planting © Dave Maric

SSE Renewables makes around £120,000 per year available for community and charitable projects through its Drumderg wind farm. The Drumderg Community Fund can support projects in Alyth and Mount Blair that promote community spirit and bring people together; enhance quality of life and promote people’s wellbeing; and/or foster vibrant, sustainable communities.