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An unusual small estate on the edge of the Highlands with beavers

About Bamff

Bamff is a small estate in the uplands of North East Perthshire on the highland boundary fault-line.   It has been owned by the Ramsay family since the year 1232 after being given to an ancestor by King Alexander II of Scotland as a reward for saving his life.  Paul and Louise Ramsay and their daughter Sophie and her partner Dave and baby Flora, live here. Sophie’s three brothers also visit regularly and take a close interest in the estate. Bamff has become known for its fascinating beaver project and abundant wildlife and attracts many wildlife enthusiasts and experts throughout the year.

The farming, carried out by neighbour Andrew Mitchell and his son Peter, is organic –  mainly sheep and cattle.  Around one third of the estate is woodland and the beavers have created a large area of wetland and pools. The beaver demonstration project at Bamff was the first of its kind in the UK.   The European beaver, hunted to extinction in the UK in the 16th century is now  reintroduced to Scotland and a protected species.

“Bamff is a paradise. I love visiting and seeing the wonder in people’s faces who have never visited before. I imagine Scotland as a massive jigsaw where too many pieces are the same  therefore the picture cannot be completed. Bamff has changed shape and so now it fits into the puzzle and the beaver is a corner.” Dr Alan Law, lecturer at Glasgow University,  who did research on the Bamff beavers for his PhD.

Walks

Apart from the interest of the beaver dams and pools Bamff also has its own little hills, Hilton and Balduff. Balduff Hill – the further and higher of the two takes about 1 hour to walk up. In 2018 the sheep were removed from the hills and  in 2018 and 2019 native woods were planted.  On a clear day the views are well worth the walk – a circle of hills with Glenshee to the North, the Sidlaws to the South and the Angus Glens to the East. You can walk to Alyth via the Hill of Alyth and return by the Den o’ Alyth (or vice versa). Its around 3 miles each way. Alyth has a Hotel, pubs and cafes. Or you can take the Cateran trail and walk in either direction for around four to five hours.  Glenisla is about 9 miles and Bridge of Cally around 6 miles. Both have pubs.

Philosophy

We face a crisis unprecedented in the history of human civilisation, with climate change and biodiversity loss accelerating around the globe. The biodiversity crisis in the UK is happening at one of the fastest rates in the world.

At Bamff, we are doing all we can to create wildlife habitat – to restore nature’s abundance and to sequester carbon.

We offer accommodation to guests not just to fund our work and share the joy of staying in a place of abundant wildlife, but also to show how the restoration of the land for wildlife can also create opportunities for people.

 

Rewilding Plans

Having introduced beavers in 2002 and seen what an astonishing and positive transformation they have made to former agricultural ditches and artificial ponds, we are planning to expand the rewilding of Bamff to an area of 450 acres of fields and woods. We are working hard to bring this about as soon as possible.

 

The Cateran Trail

A six day circular walking route, passes through the estate, going right past the three biggest beaver dams.  Every summer a steady stream of visitors comes to watch beavers at Bamff and many students also come to study them.

 

Overall

Bamff estate consists of 1300 acres of farmland, woodland, wetland and hill.  There are also five  houses on the estate and one flat in the main house let to local families. There is also a holiday cottage wing of the main house where visitors are welcomed throughout the year and now we have refurbished the Gate Lodge as a second letting cottage, and installed two yurts and a hideaway near the beaver pools with a bed! In 2019 we added Wester Bamff Cottage to our accommodation list. This is a comfortable two bedroom house with its own enclosed garden.  All our accommodation is very comfortable, with good mattresses and all bedding supplied. We try our best to anticipate your needs and provide thoughtful touches to enhance your experience staying on the estate.

Snowdrops on Bamff

Snowdrops on Bamff

Community

Several of the people who live here also do some work on the estate. Aileen runs the office and handles the holiday letting.  She is also a qualified yoga and meditation teacher.  Chris is the handyman and gardener and an excellent naturalist and birder.  Nick is a musician and music technologist and helps with the sound whenever there is a big party. Dick has managed teams of volunteers to build the hide and yurt platforms and install the yurts. Sophie helps to run the estate.  Robin and Matt (Aileen’s son and Chris’s grandson) do a range of jobs about the place.   At Scottish Woodland Skills Centre at the edge of Bamff  Dick runs courses in wood skills and Alice Warren, a Forest Schools Teacher who used to live in our lower flat, runs a forest holiday play scheme, Wildsparks,  in the Bamff woods. Malcolm and Rachel in the top flat specialise in guided walks and showing people how to enjoy the simple pleasures of the countryside: their business is called “All Five Senses”.

Climate Action

Bamff House (or castle) and its flats and holiday apartment are heated by a wood-chip district heating scheme and the main house is supplied with electricity by our own wind turbine.  Many of the houses have wood burning stoves and some have heating systems supplemented by wood from a back boiler. Through a combination of renewable energy use and carbon sequestration through woodlands and wetlands Bamff estate is contributing to climate change mitigation.

If you would to arrive by public transport you can get a bus to Alyth from Perth or Dundee and we can pick you up, by arrangement. Alyth is 3 miles from Bamff.