Happy New Year
I’m delighted to say that we can start the new year with a second holiday cottage available for let. The Mission Hall was a Church of Scotland place of worship which became redundant. It has now been extensively renovated and is available for rent. It is designed for a couple on a short break, nestled amongst trees with red squirrels feeding in front of the hut.
You can find more details and pictures on the website below, and organise rental through Unique Cottages. We look forward to welcoming our first guests.
After a disappointing rut last year, we have enjoyed an excellent rut this year. There have been a good number of stags on the ground, the action has been fast and furious and there has been a lot to see.
As a result, many stags are already lying up and recovering before winter. But a number are still holding hinds like this stag who we captured on a beautiful early morning. As is often the case he was more concerned about other encroaching stags than he was about us.
One of the advantages of being up with the pigs every day, is that the deer to become accustomed to your presence. This sika hind and calf where only a few metres away.
Every year our sika deer become ever bolder in seeking to take a share of the pigs’ daily breakfast. As you see this hind, who is always first to the feeder, is prepared to get down on her knees to collect the feed which the pigs have spilt.
It’s been our ambition for some time to convert the Mission Hut at the entrance to the estate into more holiday accommodation. Work is now in full swing and replacement cladding is now being fitted.
Inside the accommodation will provide a large bed/sitting room with fitted kitchen and a large shower and washroom. It should work well for a couple wanting to spend a few quiet days in the strath. A particular feature of the Hut is that red squirrels are regularly seen feeing within a few yards of the hut.
We are hoping it should be ready for occupation in the late Autumn and will let you know when it is.
Apologies for the scarcity of posts from Croick this year. It is not because of a lack of activity. Rather the reverse, we have been to busy to get near this blog.
The main event of the year has been the construction of a new lambing shed which, for the first time, allows us to get all our ewes inside and under cover for lambing. It is larger, lighter and with much better air circulation that our previous shed and feels much more suitable to the task.
Coincidence or not, ;lambing has gone so far even though at some 270 ewes and gimmers we are lambing greater numbers than ever. The picture above shows some of our gimmers getting ready to deliver their first lambs. From the way they react we can be confident that they have no idea what they are letting themselves in for. But after a few days they have all turned into good mothers.
It is only a few years ago that internet connection at Croick was dependent on whatever BT would deign to provide us, which as it happened was a 0.5 megabit connection, barely enough to see your emails and certainly rendering most parts of the modern internet out of reach.
Frustrated by that we moved ourselves to a satellite broadband provider (Avonline, now Bigblu) which was a substantial improvement, allowed normal life to proceed but which had it’s quirks particularly the long latency in responding to each request.
This afternoon we feel that we have moved properly to the C21 with a business connection provided by Highland Wireless which is delivering a truly impressive 80 megabit connection shared between the farm and our rental cottages. Given that 80 megabit was what was promised and is what is actually delivered, this is truly impressive.
Highland Wireless is a case study go how Highland enterprise can develop. Founded by a young, local entrepreneur, Cameron Warren, and supported by the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust, he is bringing world class internet connectivity to rural communities in the Kyle of Sutherland area, and starting to expand across the northern Highlands. He is working hard, delivering service which every community needs to attract business and remain connected and he deserves every success. Thank you Cameron.