We are dedicated to running Corsewall Estate as sustainably as we can.
Our power, heating, lighting and water are, as far as possible, sourced from the estate. In broad terms, we generate our own electricity in excess of what we consume, for heating fuel, we use wood chip bio-mass fuel off setting and exceeding any limited oil consumption we have. All water is sourced from an historic spring.
All our historic cottages have been internally stripped of their lathe and plaster wall linings and framed and insulated to or in excess of existing building standards.
For all the cottages on Corsewall Estate, the water is drawn from a spring and is tested annually by Environmental Health.
Heating and water at Garden Cottage, Stables Cottage and the Estate office are provided by wood chip fired 150KW bio-mass boiler. The wood chip is sourced from the sustainably managed estate woodlands.
Three cottages have wood burning stoves and firewood is provided free of charge from wood thinnings from the estate policy woodlands.
The estate has 180KW of wind turbine capacity, which allows the estate to be carbon neutral in terms of electrical energy consumption. We use LED low energy light bulbs in all the cottages.
As part of the estate’s sustainable forestry rotation, we plan to be the first in south west Scotland to experiment with commercial scale eucalyptus plantations. A 12-acre block is planned to be established during 2019-2020 with the anticipation that the warm, frost-free climate, sheltered locations and favourable rainfall will allow fast growth of this high calorific wood type. We anticipate harvesting within 10 years as opposed to 25 years for conventional Sitka spruce plantations.
In order to minimise waste, through Dumfries & Galloway Council, we provide food waste recycling, paper, glass and cans.
We have planted over 100 acres of species rich grassland as part of the Agricultural Environmental Climate Change Scheme. In addition, we have created a habitat mosaic and created and restored ponds for wildlife. We have also restored and renewed over 1km of mixed hedging in the past 12 months and plan to do much more in the future.
All our farm roads and holiday cottage paths are built and maintained using crushed rock from a small quarry on the Estate.
Corsewall Estate is unusually placed to encourage a diverse wildlife population in the face of increasingly commercial farming operations. It has foreshore marsh ground, mixed woodlands, commercial woodlands, extensive pastureland, peat bog, a burn that runs through the heart of the estate down to Loch Ryan and a limited population pressure that allows wildlife to thrive relatively undisturbed by human activity.
As part of wildlife sustainability policy, we are conducting a feasibility study on restoring and repurposing an old round pigeon dovecot to allow it to be used as a roost for a wide variety of bat species. In a similar vein, we have also made and installed 30 bat boxes throughout the policy woods.
We have commissioned an owl survey to establish types and numbers resident on the estate. We are currently assessing the extent of owl boxes that should be installed and their locations.
We have an aspiration to create mini plantations of landscape type trees, e.g. Scots Pine and Douglas fir across the more open grassland areas of the estate’s farms in order to break up the monotony of the extensive grass pasture landscape and create some wildlife environments specifically to encourage the red squirrel population.