Managing the land through a mix of traditional and modern techniques. Tourism and events are key components of the Glen Tanar business model, but the traditional activities of a working Highland estate form a crucial backdrop to these enterprises.
With 4,000 hectares of commercial and conservation forestry, the estate produces around 10,000 tonnes of timber each year. Some is used in construction, and some for biomass, both on the estate and to power a local whisky distillery. Visitors to Glen Tanar can explore a native Caledonian pinewood - the third largest in Scotland - and should keep their eyes peeled for rare, protected species such as red squirrels and Scottish crossbills.
The estate is home to a herd of traditional highland cattle, which graze in fields close to the road, and also supports local farmers with livestock.
The built heritage of Glen Tanar comprises an impressive collection of Victorian buildings, made from pink and grey granite with grey slate roofs. Many were built as model farms with extensive Victorian infrastructure improvements. A range of inscribed stone objects, from horse troughs to memorial stones, can also be found scattered across the estate. Attempting to find them all makes for a fun day out. Many boast the initials of the estate's original owner, Sir William Cunliffe Brooks, along with short lines such as ‘Rest and Be Thankful’, at the top of a climbing footpath. Here in this glen, there is history at every turn.
Glen Tanar sits on the eastern boundary of the Cairngorms National Park. In the centre of the estate is a National Nature Reserve which involves close partnership working with both organisations. For more information please visit www.cairngorms.co.uk and www.nnr-scotland.org.uk