A trip out of the office this week taught me that you don’t need to go to Africa to embark on an expedition which surrounds you with fascinatingly diverse habitats and puts you in to close proximity with an assortment of rare and fascinating wildlife!
Just as the game reserves of Kenya and the Serengeti aim to protect and conserve the area’s indigenous species in their natural habitats, increasingly Scottish farmers are endeavouring to ensure that the land they tend promotes the prosperity of our native ecosystems. One particular estate in the heart of the Scottish Borders has demonstrated its commitment to the conservation of local wildlife by ensuring all its land is used with the benefit of nature as a primary concern.
Whitmuir Estate, not far from the town of Selkirk, illustrates definitively that modern farming methods need not infringe on the resident plants and animals with which it shares it soil. In fact, over 170 different species of animal have been found on Whitmuir Estate in the last 10 years! Large areas of the lands are now scattered with wild flowers where numerous varieties of butterflies, moths and ladybirds are clearly in seventh heaven!
Among the exceptional provisions which have been made are special ‘beetle banks’ created in the estate’s arable fields, ensuring that when the ground is ploughed insects have a safe and undisturbed sanctuary close by in to which they can scuttle. There are quite a few ponds, wooded areas, hedges and fields which have been specifically set aside for native fauna and flora to thrive. And although the word ‘safari’ is actually Swahili, it literally means ‘journey’ –
Whitmuir Estate offers you the opportunity for a journey which takes you through a hidden wonderland of Scottish natural treasures, one that even most locals are unaware exists! Because of the need to preserve the delicate plant life that makes up the rare habitats as well as protect its inhabitants from too much human interference, Whitmuir Estate is not open to the public, but Unique Cottages clients who choose to book one of the 3 properties on the estate will find themselves right in the middle of this wildlife haven.