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The rare breed animals thriving in Cairngorms National Park landscape

2 Jul 2013

Cairngorms are perfectly suited to farming Europe's hardiest rare breed Soay sheep, deer and pigs

‘Wild farming’ in these mountains began in 1952, when Swedish herder Mikel Utsi reintroduced Britain’s only herd of reindeer from Arctic Scandinavia. He set out to prove that Rangifer tarandus (the same species as caribou) could live and breed again in…

A guide to the best food & drink in Aberdeen

2 Jul 2013

Round-up of recommended shops and restaurants in Aberdeen

Aberdeenshire wraps around the city of Aberdeen, providing its shops and restaurants with some great local produce to sell and cook with. Here’s a round up of some places to visit if you’re venturing into the city itself

The Cairngorms community groups are sowing the seeds of sustainability

2 Jul 2013

One Scottish village’s allotment scheme is on the cusp of fruition

After Kingussie’s folk museum closed a few years ago, many local shops suffered a worrying drop in custom. The community council stepped in to see what could be done for the 13,000-strong population and a survey revealed a need for allotments – as well…

The Scottish farm shops and vegetable box schemes of Aberdeenshire

2 Jul 2013

As well as producing great quality local food, a growing band of producers will even deliver

Hand in hand with the demand for meat and farm produce in Aberdeenshire, the rise of farm shops in the area gives a healthy food delivery scene, be it for fresh meat to your door or vegetable bags and boxes made up to the customer’s specification. In…

A guide to soft fruit growers of Scotland's North East

2 Jul 2013

Aberdeenshire’s climate and soil are the perfect match for growing soft fruit and berries

Soft fruits are not only sweet in taste but also in success. Scottish-grown soft fruits have become a booming agricultural business over the past ten years, with raspberry sales alone bringing £12 million to the country’s economy. This in many ways can…

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How Black Isle Brewery is leading the way in Scottish craft beer

2 Jul 2013

Black Isle Brewery is one of Scotland’s longest-running independent breweries

With craft beer becoming increasingly popular across Scotland, David Pollock meets the team behind one of the country’s longest-running independent breweries

Why the Highland cow enjoys regal status across Scotland and beyond

2 Jul 2013

One of Scotland’s most distinguished ambassadors is right at home in the Cairngorms National Park

Scotland is home to many native bovine breeds: Ayrshire, Shetland, Aberdeen Angus, Luing and Belted Galloway, as well as one of the oldest and noblest, the handsome red, tufty Highland, which thrives picturesquely across the country from exposed…

The best Scottish cheeses from Aberdeenshire

2 Jul 2013

Cheesemakers in the north east Scotland are gaining a reputation for quality product

Alex Reid of Cambus O’May Cheese Company can remember watching his mother make cheese in the family farmhouse as a boy. Now a sixth generation cheesemaker, Reid has built a business out of celebrating the best of the local area through the taste – and…

The Scottish whisky distilleries finding success in overseas markets

2 Jul 2013

Reopening of Glenglassaugh distillery on the Banffshire coast breathes life into an old spirit

‘Like snow off a dyke,’ is the Scots expression Billy Walker chooses to describe the way working Scottish distilleries are disappearing from the market and being bought up to service a booming global export industry, a situation which makes the recent…

The Scottish town that developed a 'signature menu' based on local food and eating customs

2 Jul 2013

The town of Huntly, aided by food specialist Simon Preston, develop a Signature Menu

Illustrating the strong links between culture and food in Aberdeenshire, food events specialist Simon Preston spent a three-month residency in Huntly in 2012 investigating local food and eating customs, helping to develop a Signature Menu for the town

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The farm shops of Aberdeenshire finding success

2 Jul 2013

Growing market share by Aberdeenshire farm shops

The farm shop is a growth industry across the UK, but Aberdeenshire’s share of the market is developing as few other parts of Scotland. At a rough estimate there are nearly forty such businesses in the region, from large-scale, family-day-out operations…

Why Dunrobin's Golspie commercial watermill is one of a kind

2 Jul 2013

Hannah Ewan talks to the Kiwi miller running one of Scotland’s last surviving commercial watermills

Until the early 20th century, every parish would have relied on its own water-powered mill. Now, only a handful are even partially operational in Scotland, often turned into tourist destinations to engage visitors with living history. Golspie Mill in…

The North Highlands of Scotland are a paradise for sea and loch fishing

2 Jul 2013

Exploring the lochs and rocks of the Highlands for fish can be as memorable as the feast

Anyone who has ever been forced off a single-track road north of Lairg by a thundering 40-tonne pantechnicon full of the harvested fruits of our northern seas should stop and wonder why our glorious seafood is so sought after in the smartest restaurants…

Scottish firm Saladworx produce quality salad and artisan salad dressings

2 Jul 2013

Dornoch's Saladworx is a success story to confound the marketing gurus

From garden hobby to celebrity-chef-supplying business, Saladworx is a success story to confound the marketing gurus, as Hannah Ewan finds out

A-Bun-Dance bakery are making a name for themselves with unfamiliar products

2 Jul 2013

A-Bun-Dance revolutionises bread eating habits in the North Highlands

When Robert Burns called Scotland the ‘Land o’ Cakes’, our national bard wasn’t talking about a country of black bun, jammy sponge and Ecclefechan butter tart, but a land o’ bannock: the staple breid o’ Lowlanders and Highlanders alike, baked on a flat…

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Dry Island Shellfish - The Scottish island with its own shellfish industry

2 Jul 2013

In a remote corner of Wester Ross, a tiny coastal economy punches above its weight

What would you do with your own island? Well, Ian and Jess McWhinney, the ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ of Dry Island in Loch Gairloch, Wester Ross, gave their four acres, house and pier its own name (Islonia), currency (the crab), flag (a crab in a Saltire) and…

Cambus O'May Cheese Company skillfully maintains tradition and creamery history

2 Jul 2013

The Cambus O’May Cheese Company combines traditional methods and business savvy.

Settled in the Park since 2010, Cambus O’May has grown from a respectable local producer to winner of a gold medal at last year’s British Cheese Awards. The secret of its success is unpasteurised milk and the pull of tradition. Founder Alex Reid raided…

Cocoa Mountain is a gourmet chocolate business in a dramatic Scottish location

2 Jul 2013

North Highland chocolate exported from an abandoned RAF base

The rugged, desolate beauty of the north-west tip of Scotland – often referred to as one of Europe’s last great wildernesses – means it is home to many wonderful and unusual sights, but Cocoa Mountain, a gourmet chocolate business, along with a…

Blair Atholl Watermill keeps traditional milling alive in Scotland

2 Jul 2013

Blair Atholl Watermill is celebrating four centuries since its original charter

Save for a period of disrepair and disuse between 1929 and the mill’s restoration in 1976, the stonegrinding of wheat and oats has been a process carried out regularly at Blair Atholl’s Watermill since at least the early seventeenth century. The…

The Scottish rapeseed oil company with a charitable touch

2 Jul 2013

Cullisse Rapeseed Oil is the brainchild of Robert Mackenzie. Sylvie Docherty investigates

The Cullisse brand was founded by Robert Mackenzie in 2011 following a trip to Kenya, during which he became involved in a charity called Farm Africa and was inspired by their cold-pressing techniques. On his return to Scotland the newly qualified…

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Cairngorm Brewery based in Scotland's iconic national park

2 Jul 2013

A brewery with a harmonious sense of balance

When you’re based in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park you can’t really be anything but conscious of the environment around you, and much of the ethos of Cairngorm Brewery is focused upon their habitat. ‘Because we’re based in the National Park…

The Scottish ice cream-makers trying something different

2 Jul 2013

Aberdeenshire's ice-cream makers have been bringing delicious delights to N-E families for years

Few foods bring us together like good old-fashioned ice-cream. And from the quirky parlours to the families working behind the counter, Aberdeenshire has plenty to offer. At Portsoy Ice Cream, Alex Murray has been making waves since he took over the…

Chef's choice: Robin Baird on local farmers

2 Jul 2013

Gadie's Restaurant director shares her passion for local farm food

My real passion is being able to serve food from farm to table, and much of our success here is on the back of the farmers who supply the restaurant. If you don’t eat what’s on our doorstep you’re really missing out. Carole and William Ingram of Logie…

A look at the Scottish fishing industry in Aberdeenshire

2 Jul 2013

Statistics on the fishing industry on Scotland's North East coastline

The North East coastline has a strong fishing heritage. From the herring boom of the early 1900s to the devastating decommissions at the end of the century, the towns and villages that hug this beautiful coastline have shaped and been shaped by the ups…

Tea drinking culture in the north east of Scotland

2 Jul 2013

Elevenses in Aberdeenshire... what to expect?

Visit friends and relatives in the North East outside regular mealtimes, and you may well be welcomed with the question: ‘Would you like a fly cup?’ Don’t panic – the fly cup is the Aberdeenshire form of elevenses, or afternoon tea, but it’s also so…