Balnamoon Farm is a highly productive mixed farm located in a very accessible position to the north of Keith. In recent years, the farm has operated as a livestock unit carrying up to 100 suckler cows and 400 breeding ewes however it has the potential to carry more. The predominant cropping has been grass for silage, hay and grazing together with soil improving fodder crops such as forage rape. Historically owned by the Duke of Fife, the farm was sold to the sitting tenant in 1923 with the title deeds reputed to have been signed by Queen Victoria's granddaughter, princess Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar. Since this time, the farm has been occupied by 5 farming families.
Sitting at the heart of the farm is Balnamoon Farmhouse, an attractive traditional stone and slate built dwelling dating from the 1880's. The house provides comfortable and well appointed accommodation over one and a half storeys. On the ground floor, the front door opens into an impressive entrance hall with a double height ceiling and stairs to the first floor. The sitting room has a wood burning stove and ceiling cornicing. Opposite the sitting room is a dining room (currently used as a bedroom). The breakfasting kitchen has a range of wall and floor units with space for a dishwasher and fridge. It gives access to a rear hall and boot room. Also on the ground floor is a double bedroom, shower room, W.C./cloakroom and a study. From the study a staircase leads up to a play room and a bedroom. The main staircase gives access to a landing with generous storage cupboards. There area two good sized double bedrooms, both with walk in wardrobes and one with an en suite bathroom. The house benefits from oil central heating and double glazing. Adjoining the house is a 'bothy' constructed of rendered block with a corrugated roof which consists of a storage room and a room occasionally used as a bedroom. The generous front garden is nicely enclosed by a stone wall and includes a gravelled driveway, an area of timber decking and a lawn. The rear garden is laid to lawn.
There is a good range of modern and traditional farm buildings at Balnamoon, comprising:
Garage. About 3.92m x 13.85m
Steel portal frame, box profile steel side cladding, cement fibre roof, concrete floor, lights and power, 2 roller shutters doors.
Draff Shed. About 5.34m x 12.95m
Timber frame under a cement fibre roof, tin side cladding, concrete block walling to 1.5m, concrete floor, lights and power.
Switch Gear Shed. About 1.03m x 2.67m
Harled block under a box profile steel roof, switch gear apparatus for 11kW C&F wind turbine.
Workshop & Store. About 4.08m x 4.08m & 4.70m x 3.51m
Stone under a tin roof, concrete floor, power and lights, work benches.
Cattle Shed 1. About 12.2m x 29.4m
Steel portal frame, reinforced box profile steel roof, concrete floor, part stone walls and Yorkshire boarding, power and lights, bull pen.
Straw Shed. About 15m x 18.6m
Steel portal frame, cement fibre roof, part box profile steel side cladding, full height sliding doors, hardcore floor, power ad lights.
Cattle Shed 2. About 9m x 29m
Block walling, concrete floor, box profile steel roof, 2 sliding doors.
Cattle Shed 3. About 30m x 18.4m
Steel portal frame, cement fibre roof, concrete floor, central feed pass, block walling to half height with ventilated side cladding, power, lights and water.
Extending to a total of 105.2 ha (260 acres) and sitting at a height of between 140m and 210m a.s.l, the land at Balnamoon has a gently undulating south easterly aspect. Divided between 16 principal enclosures together with smaller strips of woodland, ditches etc. the farm provides good quality arable and permanent pasture, ideal for use as a mixed farm. Although currently down to grass with brassicas grown on rotation, the majority of the holding is capable of producing high yields of spring and winter cereals. According to the James Hutton Institute (land capability classification), about two thirds of the farm has been classified as grade 3(2), with areas of 4(1), 4(2) and 5(1). A small burn, various copses and ditches all add to the overall amenity of what is a very attractive farm.
The farm is currently in the second year of a 5 year Agri Environmental Climate Scheme (AECS) contract (Ref: 15AEC00300) which produces a grant income of £4,814.66 for the annual management of over wintered brassicas, mown grassland for birds, water margins for arable fields, water margins for grass fields and hedgerow management. The land is in excellent heart and has been very well maintained and operated over the years, an example of this culminating in the property being awarded the 2005 Silver Lapwing Award for conservation.
There is an 11kW C&F wind turbine which generates an income in the region of £4,500 per annum. In addition, an 800kW Enercon wind turbine is located on the farm and which is owned by Balnamoon Renewables Limited. The Company pays a rental figure of £6,000 per annum or 5% of the gross annual output, whichever figure is the greatest. There are two further sites on the farm suitable for wind turbines and for which Balnamoon Renewables Ltd are seeking planning permission. Should this be granted, lease arrangements on a similar basis to the existing turbine would be entered into (subject to agreement).