At Cawdor, we know that for our Estate to thrive we must invest time and energy in the community.
Involving young people in the landscape that supports them and reinforcing a strong link to it is essential. Establishing this connection from an early age is time well-spent; they may well be its guardians in the future. We aim to host an annual event for children from local primary schools wherein we impart our valuable knowledge of farming, forestry and moorland management. We offer insight into the working lives of our foresters, keepers, shepherds and farmers. It could also inspire them to pursue a career in the environment they are growing up in and therefore promote retention of the younger demographic necessary for communities to thrive.
We recognise our influence and use it responsibly. We liaise routinely with Cawdor and West Nairnshire Community Council and help out whenever we can. Cawdor Estate assisted with campaigning for a new bridge on the main road between Auldearn and Clephanton where it passes over the River Nairn just outside of Cawdor village. The B9090 is an essential link to the main arterial A96 road. It also serves local farmers, forestry vehicles and, of course, the emergency services.
Engagement with our immediate community is a priority. We have promoted litter-picking in the areas surrounding the Estate as part of the Great British Spring Clean which we hope will become a regular event. We provide the village and school with their annual Christmas trees and also offer premises for the village shop. Woodland footpaths have been created close to the villages of Piperhill and Culcharry, increasing access to the land for the public benefit of residents. In accordance with the Scottish Land Commission’s approaches and recommendations with regards to Land Rights and Responsibilities, we aim to open up even more informal footpaths. Those already in place are maintained regularly to ensure open access to the land and to the River Nairn. We also take responsibility for mowing the community football pitch and areas of the village.
At Cawdor, we strongly believe that the more people see and experience their environment and community, the more profound the urge to protect both of them will become. In turn, our landscape and way of life are preserved for future generations to appreciate.