The Lovat Lungbusters 2017 team of Iain Shepherd, Simon Lovat and Jack Fraser are delighted to have raised over £6,000 for local charities by running/cycling the 50 miles of the Highland Cross. Full report is on their Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Iain-Shepherd
Some media reports have stated that two pensioners, Mr & Mrs Bryan, have been evicted from their “Lovat Estate” home. These reports are wholly inaccurate. The confusion has arisen as their house was previously owned by Lovat Estate but was sold about twenty years ago. Also Mr Bryan is a former employee of Lovat Estate.
The story has a happy outcome as Lovat Estate has a house available for let near to Mr & Mrs Bryan’s present home and has offered it to them. We expect they will soon become tenants of Lovat Estate.
On Sunday the 8th March 2015 we had some of the highest river levels in living memory on the River Beauly. A combination of heavy rainfall in the west and rapid snow melt led to significant flooding. As was reported in the local news the caravan park at the Lovat Bridge had to be evacuated by dinghy. Once more we managed to avoid any serious structural damage although a number of our properties were cut off for several hours whilst their access roads were inundated and one, nearer the river, had water ingress into the basement. The flood water at Groam of Annat flattened several hundred metres of new stock fencing, the weight of debris caught in the rylock proving too much.
All in all the work we have done in recent years to maintain trees along roadsides and in public places and work in clearing ditches and improving drainage has paid dividends and we seem to have survived this period of extreme weather without too much damage. We hope for more settled weather as we move towards the summer.
The Cruivend road under the River Beauly floodwaters
Like many areas in the north of Scotland, Lovat Estate was severely hit by the strong winds over the weekend of the 9th 10th and 11th of January. Over 40 mature hardwoods came down, including 15 mature Oak trees. Fortunately, structural damage was minimal although there are a number of fences and dykes now under repair. A number of the local public roads and tracks around the estate were blocked by fallen trees and there were some long hours put in for several days to ensure these were opened as quickly as possible. One of the estate houses near Kinerras provided a not so soft landing for some Spruce trees (see Before and After photos below) but fortunately damage was minimal and the trees were removed without too much problem.
The clear up over the rest of the estate is well underway with estate staff doing a lot of the work and using local contractors for the more sizeable, awkward trees.
We had only recently finished a felling operation at the Long Wood when the storm arrived, the inevitable happened and we estimate a further 200 tonnes of timber blew down along the newly opened edge. We are in the process of tidying this up. Also a 56 Ha area of Lovat Estate’s Scot’s Pine woodland within Boblainy forest suffered considerable windblow and will be harvested soon.
An exceptional block of arable land in the heart of Inverness-shire, extending to some 32.66Ha (80.7 Acres)
LAND AT INCHMORE KIRKHILL INVERNESS
The Lovat Estates team comprising Iain Shepherd (managing director), John Macrae (housing
manager) and Ash Grainger (property maintenance officer) raised over £1,500 for six local charities
in the Highland Cross duathlon on 21 June 2014.
The event is a 50 mile duathon (20 mile run/walk followed by a 30 mile cycle) and crosses north
Scotland from Kintail on the west coast via Glen Licht and Glen Affric to finish at Beauly Square near
Lovat Estates Office.
This year over 715 competitors took part and this was Iain’s fourth Cross, John’s second and Ash’s
first. Many thanks to all the Lovat family members, estate contractors and staff, friends and family
who kindly sponsored the team.
Woodlands owned by Mrs Virginia Fraser, Lord Lovat’s mother, at Fanellan and Ruttle and which have been in the Lovat family ownership for many generations have won the Hunter Blair Trophy for silvicultural excellence at the Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards.
The prize of £1,000, the Hunter Blair trophy, plaque and certificate were presented at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh on 20th June 2014 to Dietrich Pannwitz of Sylvestrus Ltd, the forestry contractor for the woodlands.
The judges commented:
“It is clear that this wood has benefited greatly from the application of silvicultural operations over the last 6 years and throughout the wood the works being done are improving productivity, quality and visual appearance. A particular success is the scale of natural regeneration of broadleaves and conifers which is now being achieved. The judges were impressed by the level of care and attention to detail in the way plans were being implemented. There is no doubt that the silviculture now being applied will safeguard existing quality in the better stands and enhance quality in others. The wood is an excellent example of how appropriate and timely silviculture can have a significant positive impact.”
On the 8th May 2014, in front of more than 100 members of the Fraser family and both British and French dignitaries, a statue of the late Brigadier Lord Lovat (Shimi) was unveiled.
The statue is placed to commemorate Lord Lovat and the role the Clan chief played when he led the 1st Special Service Brigade into battle at Ouistreham during the Normandy invasion’s on June 6th 1944, famously accompanied by his piper, Bill Millin.
Winston Churchill once described Lord Lovat as “the mildest-mannered man that ever scuttled a ship or cut a throat’ and there’s no doubting that this detailed statue, standing at ease, has captivated the allure of this charming man who earned both the Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order.
The statue of the Lord stands proudly in the garden of remembrance near sword beach, sculpted from bronze by Ian Rank-Broadley . The cost was raised by family, friends and clan members
The prayer, “To give and not to count the cost” (the commando prayer) was read at the unveiling ceremony
(By Saint Ignatius of Loyola)
Teach us, good Lord,
to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do your will
Lord Lovat died peacefully in Beauly at the age of 83 leaving a widow, Lady Lovat to whom he had been married to for 57 years. Bill Millin played a moving farewell lament of “My Home” at the graveside but also played “Blue Bonnets O’er the Border, the tune he played during the Normandy landing.