Roxburghe Estates covers approximately 52,000 acres of the Borders countryside, ranging from the grassy slopes of the Cheviot Hills and the heather clad moorland of the Lammermuirs to the fertile land of the Tweed valley.
With such a variety of topography, the type of farming carried out over the Estate’s land is equally diverse resulting in a variety of produce, be it prime Scottish beef and lamb, malting barley for the whisky distilleries or oats which form the basis of some of Scotland’s most famous culinary dishes.
The majority of the Estate land is let and therefore the farming is carried out by tenants, some of whose families have farmed the same land for 3 or 4 generations. These businesses have evolved over considerable time and many of the Estate’s tenants are at the forefront of the Scottish agricultural industry.
The Estate does, however, farm in its own right and has done so since 1721. We are keen to preserve the good stewardship of the Estate and this is reflected in the production of quality produce whilst, at the same time, conserving and enhancing the natural landscape.
On the fertile lands surrounding the Tweed our home farm predominantly grow arable crops such as wheat, barley, oats and oilseed Rape. Immediately around the Castle you will find grass parks, which at certain times of year are grazed by our Cheviot and Blackface sheep together with cattle. These sheep and cattle spend the majority of the year on our Hill Farms in the Lammermuirs and are very hardy breeds, allowing them to thrive in the tough conditions on the hill, while from time to time enjoying the luxury of grazing the grasses in the Tweed valley. Indeed, the Cheviot Hills that divide Scotland and England, have given their name to the Cheviot breed of sheep that the Estate and many of our tenants farm. The Cheviot thrives in the Borders hills where other breeds would not and by living off the young heather shoots, the meat of the lamb acquires a uniquely sweet taste which is very sought after by restaurants up and down the country.