Clients of Kincardine Estate and Castle can, without question, fulfil their own corporate social responsibilities by dealing with us. Without being a charity Kincardine Castle and Estate observe a simple principle of trying to support its local community through sensible, considerate and long-term stewardship of land and buildings in the context of a sustainable rural community.
The following is a quick summary of our activities in this area. Needless to say, not being tax-exempt like charities, we also pay taxes and thus contribute to the common good.
Kincardine Estate is a major provider of affordable rented housing in and around Kincardine O’Neil. To put this into perspective while the Local Authority rents 13 council houses, Kincardine Estate leases 61 at affordable rent. Over 85% of our housing portfolio is leased at these modest rents with the purpose of trying to support local housing needs. Through our letting programme we are giving very direct support to young and vulnerable households and families.
Kincardine Estate also provides opportunities for small businesses in and around Kincardine O’Neil. The aim is to try to stimulate and support the local economy and maintain essential services. The classic example is the excellent Post Office and General Store. Other premises are leased at modest rent to encourage business start-ups.
In letting farm-land the estate supports local small farming enterprises and considers long-term tenancies a priority over profit maximisation.
Of course Kincardine Castle and Estate also provide employment locally through our varied enterprises, details of which can be found in other pages on this website. Currently we sustain 8 full-time, 5 part-time and about 10 casual jobs.
Kincardine Estate has a 125 year history of working with communities and key stakeholders. We’ve donated land for community and social needs. Council Housing on Pitmurchie Road, The Village Hall, Sports and Bowling Club and Playing Field are all on such land.
Today the estate continues to liaise and engage about numerous matters in connection with community life.
The walks through the Boat Wood, a woodland managed for long-term retention, is a popular route and the same wood has been used by the Primary School as a Forest School.
The castle and estate also liaise closely with local schools, hosting visits and providing information as often as required.
The estate also provides gardening allotments for the community.
With development land legacy development is favoured over profit maximisation.
The estate has been responsible in planting lots of trees. Since 1960 over 1.4 million trees have been planted and these are now sustainably managed using a local co-operative established with neighbouring estates over 25 years ago. The co-op ensures stable employment for harvesting teams in the normally rather volatile forestry marketplace.
The timber goes to make processed building materials and larger trees go to local sawmills where they’re processed into pallet-wood and building timbers.
A small proportion of the output is retained and used as biomass fuel for Kincardine Castles’ wood-chip heating plant. Re-stocking of woodland continues today so that the carbon capture by our forests can continue indefinitely.
While they’re growing the woods are also used for a variety of recreation by local groups including the local Mar Orienteering Club. The woods have been used for World Championship Events.
It is a measure of Kincardine Estate’s care for the environment that some 500 acres of land around Kincardine O’Neil was long-ago designated an Outstanding Conservation Area, principally for the built environment.
Other land designations of SSSI and for Local Nature Conservation are direct results of the estate’s caring management of the natural environment over the last 125 years.
Buffer-strips to protect water courses from agricultural run-off were established many years ago to protect the spawning salmonids in the Neil Burn.
We are conscious of the need to reduce energy use and to embrace green technology and energy efficiency in our operations. We’re working constantly to upgrade the quality of our existing buildings.
In 2012 we were pleased to fire up the castle’s biomass heating plant. The fuel comes mainly from our own grown timber.
We also have an electric vehicle which has been used by estate staff for the last 5 years. That represents 20% of our fleet.
The estate and castle have been constant supporters of charities. The main beneficiary of our efforts has been the national charity Children 1st with which we have been associated for more than 30 years. We also support local interests such as the local branch of the WRI, the Village Hall and a Kincardine O’Neil charitable trust. The castle is often used as a venue for fund-raising events and it also provides meeting spaces at no, or greatly reduced, charge for numerous meetings of the various charities and organisations that it supports.
To sum up – Kincardine Castle and Estate through our responsible and long-term stewardship aim, with your help and business with us, to continue our support for our rural community. Thank you.
Some kind words from our previous guests…
“A valuable time, thank you for your warm hospitality, delicious food and graciousness. We had an intense workshop to complete and your beautiful home certainly worked its magic. We will be back I’m sure.”