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Case Studies > Supporting the community on Finzean Estate

Finzean Estate, Aberdeenshire


Case Study Supporting the community on Finzean Estate Finzean Estate, Aberdeenshire www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Supporting the community on Finzean Estate Finzean estate, situated on Deeside is well known for their support of the local community. This drive to have a sustainable community within which to operate can be traced back generations to the 19thC with Robert Farquharson MP and Laird of Finzean who supported the Access to Mountains (Scotland) Act of 1874. In 1927 his younger brother, Joseph Farquharson – known as the Painting Laird - donated a new hall in the village to the community in memory of those who died in the Great War.

Andrew Farquharson who manages the Estate in partnership with his brother, Donald, continues to run the family estate using the same ethos of philanthropy, providing low cost housing sites to local families and working to ensure that the community remains sustainable and a great place to live.

In 2009, the community came together to establish a new graveyard within the village. The estate donated land to Aberdeenshire Council to be used as a site and the project was led by the Finzean Community Association. The tenant farmers on the Estate constructed the new access road on a voluntary basis, the ground of about three acres originally part of the Estate Home farm was donated by the family, fenced off and landscaped by local people of all ages, who planted trees hedges shrubs. About 80 people from the Community were involved in this remarkable community effort.

The Estate gifted two historic water powered mills, the Bucket Mill and Estate sawmill to the local Birse Community Trust with the aim that they would be kept open to the public. Also the Estate leased land to the trust to form a path linking the Finzean village to the Church and School which allows a safe passage for the children to either cycle or walk to School.

The Finzean Native Pinewood owned and managed by the family is situated on the land which adjoins the Forest of Birse, and many people today consider it to be the most picturesque part of the estate. About two miles of public footpath linking the two watermills have been created for the public benefit giving access to Peterhill. It is of particular interest in that at least 15 of the great masterpieces of Joseph Farquharson were painted here. Most of this woodland had to be felled to pay for Estate Duty during the War years, but was regenerated naturally, and has greatly expanded in recent years.

Commenting, Finzean estate’s Andrew Farquharson said: "I am very proud of the community focus ethos that underpins all we do at on the estate, and within our businesses. We employ local people, encourage people to stay in the area and we champion our own natural produce".
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