Brawlbin Farm is located in a scenic and rugged part of Caithness on the southern shores of Loch Calder and on the northern edge of the Flow Country. Lying some 5 miles west of Halkirk, the farm is accessed …
Brawlbin Farm is located in a scenic and rugged part of Caithness on the southern shores of Loch Calder and on the northern edge of the Flow Country. Lying some 5 miles west of Halkirk, the farm is accessed from the minor public roads running to Scotscalder and Dorrery. The farm enjoys expansive views over the surrounding countryside.
Halkirk village offers basic services including a grocery shop, post office, primary school and the Ulbster Arms Hotel. Local services including supermarkets and high schooling are available in Thurso, some 9 miles further north. Rail connections are available at Scotscalder or Thurso. Wick Airport offers regular flights to Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Caithness is very much an agricultural county and is well served with agricultural merchants and suppliers, as well as the livestock mart at Quoybrae.
The Caithness countryside is well known for its attractive countryside and coastline with many beautiful sandy beaches, and opportunities for a wide range of sport and outdoor recreation.
Brawlbin farm extends to approximately 510.58 Ha (1,261 acres) in total and forms a ring fenced block of land, intersected by minor public roads which facilitate access to all parts of the farm. The land at Brawlbin can be categorised into a distinct area of ploughable pasture in the centre of the holding, with areas of permanent pasture immediately to the south and west of this. Rough grazing and peatland dominate the remainder of the land further to the east, south and west, and the area of land that borders Loch Calder to the north of the holding is predominantly wetland. The land lies between 65m above sea level near to Loch Calder and 130m above sea level to the west on the hill ground. The James Hutton Institute land capability for agriculture plans categorises the ploughable land at the centre of the holding as Grade 4(1), the immediate surrounding areas of permanent pasture and better rough grazing classed as Grade 5(2) and 5(3) and the hill ground to the west and the wetland to the north classed as Grade 6(2) and 6(3). The varied mix of habitats present on the farm offers tremendous opportunity to develop the natural capital potential through woodland planting, peatland restoration, managing the wetlands for bird habitat and regenerative agriculture.
The main farmhouse and steading lies at the northern end of the farm, overlooking Loch Calder, while Tor na Mae Cottage lies a short distance further south.
LOT 1 – BRAWLBIN FARMHOUSE, STEADING AND LAND – 111 HA (274.2 ACRES)
The Farmhouse is a traditional two storey dwelling of stone and slate construction and sits in a south facing position adjacent to the farm steading. The farmhouse has not been occupied for a number of years, and as such requires full renovation, but offers great opportunity to improve the property and create a modern, comfortable home.
The accommodation as it is currently laid out can be briefly summarised as follows:
Ground Floor – Front Porch; Main Hall; 2 Reception rooms; Middle Hall; bathroom; Kitchen; boiler room/store; utility room; rear hall; cloakroom/W.
BRAWLBIN FARM STEADING
Lying to the west of the Farmhouse, the steading at Brawlbin comprises a mix of traditional and more modern buildings. Set over a large yard area with ample space for machinery and storage, they provide useful accommodation for the farming operations. The steading buildings can be summarised as follows:
•Dutch barn (18.44m x 7.93m) – Concrete pole frame, steel roof supports, corrugated iron roof and corrugated panels to one side and the rear, earth floor;
•Stone byre (25.76m x 6.65m) – stone walls and roof, sliding door to side;
•Stone byre (17.76m x 7.56m) – stone walls and fibre cement roof;
•General Purpose Shed (29.65m x 12.0m) – concrete frame with block walls, fibre cement roof with skylights, enclosed at either end by the aforementioned stone byres, part concrete floor, two sliding doors to the front, internal livestock feed bays and handling pens;
•General Purpose Shed (29.69m x 4.8m) – stone wall and steel portal frame construction, fibre cement roof beneath timber purlins, part concrete floor, accessible internally from the central shed, sliding door to rear, currently used for storage and livestock handling;
•General Purpose Shed (11.54m x 6.97m) – block wall construction, fibre cement roof, sliding door, concrete floor;
•Silage pit (17.8m x 6.97m) – concrete construction, open at either end;
•Stone barn (10.67m x 5.86m) – stone wall construction beneath box profile roof, up and over door to front and small door to rear;
•Concrete garage (9.56m x 4.69m) – harled brick wall beneath corrugated iron roof, up and over door to front;
•Stone workshop (16.68m x 5.75m) – stone wall beneath box profile roof, single glazed windows;
•Former carriage shed (24.48m x 5.8m) – stone wall beneath stone roof.
A sheep fank consisting of metal gates and fences on a concrete standing exists behind the farm buildings. A holding pen laid to grass and surrounded by a flagstone wall adjoins the fank.
The land within Lot 1 comprises approximately 42 Ha (103.8 acres) ploughable pasture), 21.24 Ha (52.4 acres) permanent pasture and approximately 44 Ha (108.7 acres) of rough grazing/wetland with the remaining area being roads/yards/buildings. The pasture land is divided into workable field enclosures, which are all generally well fenced. The wetland lies around the shores of Loch Calder and provides good summer grazing and habitat to a variety of birdlife including curlew, lapwing and redshank.