Ballogie Estate plays an active role in wildlife conservation
From the high heather hills, down to the banks of the River Dee, there is a rich diversity of habitat and species, which all have to be preserved and cared for in the context of running a successful, commercial business.
Ballogie Estate works closely with farming, wildlife and conservation groups to ensure that Ballogie’s unique wildlife and natural habitats continue to be safeguarded for future generations.
The wildlife to be found at Ballogie is diverse, rich and varied. We are proud to have on the estate seven of the ten British most endangered species including Capercaillie, Red Squirrels, Black Grouse, Brown Hares, Scottish Crossbills, FreshWater Pearl Mussels and Lampreys as well as Hedgehogs, Badgers, Stoats, Otters, Curlews, Oystercatchers, Buzzards, Red Kites and other raptors to name but a few.
The River Dee
The River Dee is a Special Area of Conservation designated for salmon, otters and freshwater pearl mussels. Ballogie has been active in supporting the River Dee Trust in carrying out riparian management, primarily for the benefit of migratory fish species, but also for other species that live in the streams, such as lampreys. In addition, we have given support to the LIFE Funded Pearls in Peril (PIP) Scheme for the removal of croys from the Commonty Beat for the benefit of freshwater pearl mussels. We manage over 20 hectares of riparian woodlands, mainly on the Burn of Cattie, but the Burn of Angels in the Potarch Woods is also important.
Capercaillie, Red Squirrels and Water-Voles
Natural habitat conservation is a priority at Ballogie Estate and part of our conservation strategy is to work in partnership with our neighbours to assist and support the survival of the iconic and endangered Capercaillie. There is a small, but resilient population of Capercaillie on the estate; they are the most north easterly group in Scotland and by encouraging blueberry growth and controlling predators, we are conserving their rare and vulnerable habitat to safeguard their existence. Additionally, we continue to actively support the national campaign to preserve our red squirrel community and for the benefit of the native water-voles, we control the local mink population.
Wildlife Estates Scotland
Ballogie Estate is proud to hold Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) accreditation since 2016. To achieve accreditation the estate underwent “a rigorous and independent assessment of (our) wildlife, game and habitat management as well as our social and economic contribution to rural life.”
Caledonian Pine Forests
We have a significant area of Caledonian Pine Forest, part of the Glen Ferrick native pinewood, which is the most easterly in the UK and we manage Lamahip as an expansion zone for the native pinewood. The forestry to a significant extent is managed under a continuous cover system, which encourages diversity of species. Some 27% of the total forest area has biodiversity as a key management principle.
This leads to very diverse areas such as riparian woodlands, old stands of mature Scots Pine or old birchwoods like the Balnacraig birch wood, which is marked on the Roy Map. Along the drive to Ballogie House is an interesting area of diverse policy woodlands and includes the Queen of the Firs, which is a Scottish Heritage tree and one of the largest Scots Pines on mainland Britain. Carlogie is designated an Ancient Woodlands site and we follow advice from Scottish Woodlands Trust and adopt the Forest Stewardship Council guidelines on managing these woodlands.