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Andrew and Debbie Duffus

Mains of Auchriachan, Tomintoul

The Duffus family from Mains of Auchriachan near Tomintoul, standing near a sheep feeder in a grassland field.Andrew and Debbie Duffus, and their sons, Sam, Ben and Max  farm at Mains of Auchriachan, Tomintoul. Sitting with in the Cairngorms National Park. They run a hill farm rented from Crown Estate and extends to 1,540 ha, sitting at 370m at home farm to 675m.

Their herd is made up of 60 Simmental cross cows split 50:50 between spring and autumn calving. Cows are put to Charolais and Beef Short horn sires. The hill cows 56 Highland and shorthorn cows, are put to the White short horn and Highland bull. Calves sold as stores. The stratified ewe flock sees 250 hill Blackfaces producing mules for the 250 ewe in-bye flock. Lambs sold prime and store.

Keen to expand the woodland cover on the farm for a combination of benefits e.g. production of timber and biofuel for the farm, increase in woodland habitat and improvements to the landscape of adjacent woodlands and more shelter for livestock. They have been working with the CNPA Landscape partnership. This has led to two new areas of woodland being created small/ farm woodland and native scots pine option. Both new woodland will create shelter and in return reduce need to supplement feed and increase carcass weights of cattle. There are future plans for creating more woodlands to provide shelter for their stock.

Photo credit & copyright: Anne MacPherson

Upcoming Event

Integrating Trees on Your Land Event: Wednesday, 23rd June 7pm – 8pm

Andrew and Debbie Duffus  will introduce us to their farm and will be talking to us about their family's new venture into woodland creation on their tenanted hill farm Mains of Auchriachan, Tomintoul. We'll discuss the initial thought process, the decision to plant trees, objectives, challenges and benefits etc. Also how future  plans for woodlands creation/shelter belts are evolving alongside their livestock enterprises. We will also have a speaker from Scottish Forestry joining us to discuss funding and first steps to woodland creation. As this will be a farmer-led network please come along and bring your questions and ideas to help us guide future event topics. Book your free place here