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Environment & Conservation

About Corrour

Our family is a newcomer to the Highlands. We bought Corrour in 1995 from Donald Maxwell MacDonald. Corrour is 23,000 hectares (57,000 acres) of hill, moor, forest and lochs, with no public roads, centered on Loch Ossian. It has a perimeter of 86 kilometres (54 miles). Most of Corrour is above 300 metres (984 feet) and more than a quarter is above 600 metres (1,968 feet). We have six munros, or hills above 936 metres (3,070 feet). The highest point is Beinn Eibhinn at 1,102 metres (3,615 feet).

We have built and now operate three hydro schemes (Creagaich, 100 kilowatts; Uisge Labhair, 1.2 megawatts; and Chamabhreach, 1.15 megawatts). We are presently building a fourth (Ghulbinn, 2.8 megawatts).

We do not farm in hand, and we have no crofters or tenants. Corrour is our family holiday home, as well as a medium-sized forestry and tourism business. We grow timber, let stalking, rent out cottages and the lodge, and run the station restaurant. Nine people work full-time at Corrour: an estate manager; three stalkers; a forester; a housekeeper; a handyman and butcher; and a couple who manage the lodge. An administrator for our holiday lets, an accountant, and an accounts assistant work part-time. We also employ seasonal team members on the hill, in our forests, in the lodge and in the station restaurant, and we are grateful for the help of volunteers, such as those from the Scottish Rhododendron Society.

Corrour is ecologically important. For example, we have red swuirrel, pine marten, otter and water vole. There have been recent sightings of wild boar. Raptors seen at Corrour include golden eagle, peregrine flacon, her harrier, buzzard, osprey, kestrel and merlin. Loch Ossian is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for tis black-throated divers; the rare dward birch (Betula nana) is abundant; and there is a nationally important colony of small cow wheat (Melampyrom sylvaticum).

The diverse woodland by Loch Ossian was established from the 1890s on by Sir John Stirling Maxwell, who bought Corrour in 1891, when he was 24 years old. Maxwell was one of the founding Forestry Commissioners. At Corrour he experimented with planting methods and tree species to reforest Britain's uplands.

To read the rest of the article, please download the Environmental Fact Sheet.

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