Luss Estates’ interests in traditional hill farming stretch back over generations. Our Home Farm encompasses areas of Glen Fruin, Auchengavin, Tullich and Firkin and stretches over 5,000 Ha (12, 300 acres) of hill and marginal land. The Farm Manager, Kevin MacKinnon, oversees the Home Farm with a team of two shepherds and one cattleman.
We believe that selecting appropriate livestock for our environment is essential for proper stewardship of the land as well as the welfare of our animals.
Luss Estates’ spring calving herd is made up of around 150 beef suckler cows. Traditionally the herd has consisted of hardy, pedigree Luing breed cows, which are suited to the local climate and are out-wintered. The herd is currently being diversified by increasing the proportion of Simmental-Luing cattle, a robust cross that also flourishes in the Highland environment. Calves are generally sold on in the autumn as weanling calves, with a number retained as herd replacements or for sale later as bulling heifers.
Our sheep flock consists of approximately 2,500 breeding ewes, predominantly Scottish Blackface. The majority of these are tupped pure, and around 20% are crossed with Blue-faced Leicester to produce Scotch Mule lambs. Some lambs are retained in order to supply local produce directly to the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel and the remainder is sold on in the autumn, mainly through United Auctions Mart in Stirling.
Major investment by Luss Estates has taken place over recent years in order to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of our farming business and to achieve accordance with best practice. This investment has included work by local contractors on hedgerow maintenance, reseeding of grassland, field drainage, liming and fencing renewals.
The flock is going from strength to strength and this has been recognised at industry shows and stockjudging. Recent awards for our livestock include from the Lochaber Show in 2015: Overall Champion, Champion Blackface Sheep; Reserve Champion Blackface Sheep with a BF Ewe; 1st Prize BF Aged Ram; 1st Prize BF Shearling; 1st Prize BF Ewe; 3rd Prize BF Tup Lamb. Awards at the Dalmally Show in 2015 were received as follows: 1st Prize BF Aged Ram; 1st Prize BF Shearling; 4th Prize BF 3 Year old Ewe. The Dalmally Stockjudging for 2016 awarded Luss Estates Champion Tup Hogg and 4th Prize Tup Hogg.