Auchgoyle Farm is a former dairy farm situated in the south west of the Cowal Peninsula. The land currently consists of semi-improved grassland, relict patches of unimproved species-rich grassland and small patches of woodland (including riparian and ancient woodland). The site now operates as a wildlife-focused farm stay and hill-running retreat.
Key rewilding commitments:
- MORE NATIVE WOODLAND: Encouraging natural woodland and scrub regeneration; establishing three separate enclosures of broadleaf planting; hedgerow planting to create a network of habitats.
- MORE SPACE FOR WATER: Creating wader scrapes and ponds, and generally enhancing water features for the benefit of wildlife.
- LET NATURE LEAD: Restoring meadows, removing agricultural debris and redundant fencing.
- REINSTATE NATURAL GRAZING: Auchgoyle farm was bought by the current owners with the specific intention of implementing an ambitious rewilding project. Planned nature recovery actions include the use of mob grazing with Shetland cattle and establishing an area of silvo-arable cultivation (involving the use of native pigs for soil disturbance). Native breeds of ponies will also be used to increase habitat heterogeneity.
"If we can demonstrate the benefits of turning low productivity farmland into a nature-rich habitat, and still make a decent living, we will have achieved our objective."
Katharine and David Lowrie, Owners