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Sustainability

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Sustainability is in the heart of every decision we make

Duffus Estate is home to a wide diversity of both local plants and others from around the world. We are keen to sustain this diversity through an ongoing programme of planting native species of trees and bulb planting. We love it when the bulbs put on an amazing show each Spring. We have taken back in-hand a 26-acre field and are looking into options to landscape and replant this area, inspired by photographs of this field in the past.

Gorgeous wooden birdbox with Duffus Castle in the background

The Dunbar family have managed Duffus Estate since the 1600’s. Moving with the times, we are keen to minimise the Estate’s environmental impact and manage the land to encourage the local flora and fauna to thrive.

The Estate is a haven for birds and animals, from the noisy Woodpeckers to the famous Red Squirrels. New nesting boxes and squirrel feeders are put up each season to support their ongoing presence. As much of the woodland is mature, the squirrels use the tree-tops as a corridor across the Estate.

Sustainability is not a goal, it is a journey to travel.

Real change began for Duffus Estate in 2013. All the light-bulbs in the holiday properties were replaced with LED energy efficient bulbs. We are delighted to have received a Bronze award for Green Tourism, read more about this in our blog. Sustainable changes have continued since as captured in our journey through time below.

As with any mature woodland, there are occasions when the tree surgeon comes to visit. Although it is sad when diseased or dying trees are felled, we ensure they live on. The felled wood is re-purposed to make indoor and outdoor furniture which is then used in the Estate holiday properties. The remaining felled wood is cut to provide the holiday properties with fuel for the wood burners and fire-pits.

Earthtime for All

Earthtime for All Outdoor Nursery and Forest School is a childcare provider which connects children and young people with the natural environment. They use creative and woodland based activities to improve self-esteem, health and well-being. They have been based on Duffus Estate since the nursery was established in 2016. Together with the Dunbar family, they worked to make the most of the natural environment Duffus Estate offers. Their hard work was recognised in 2019 when they were awarded The Crown Estate Scotland Schools Trophy for school-based projects, by Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards. You can read more about this at Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards   

There has been a real focus in recent years to manage the holiday properties to reduce the environmental impact. We use locally sourced, environmentally friendly cleaning products and locally sourced, organic and natural bath and body products (Highland Soap Co.). We ensure that the amazing local larder in Moray is used for food and drinks. The holiday cottages have had new boilers and thermostats installed to manage energy usage more effectively. The benefits of these investments have already been seen. 

A Rated

All appliances in the properties are A rated and cleaned and maintained to ensure best performance. Four of our holiday properties have electric car charging points for our guests to use.

An opportunity arose to develop a small site on the Estate overlooking Duffus Castle. We were keen to do this in a sustainable manner by sourcing an architecturally designed eco-cabin. The cabin was manufactured locally by Carbon Dynamic, based in the Black Isle. We invested in solar panels for electricity and solar-thermal panels for heating the water. This has been very successful and has given the chance for guests to immerse themselves in a natural environment. 

Around the Estate there is always an emphasis on ensuring that we are meeting our green aspirations. We use a sustainable brand of loo roll, Who Gives a Crap, in the holiday cottages. We aim to source local suppliers for our welcome baskets and for our breakfast hampers. Kula Coffee Hut was accredited with Taste our Best award, which is a national award from Visit Scotland.  

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