The Reay Forest Estate, situated in the north west Highlands, is a traditional sporting estate famed for its deer stalking and trout and salmon fishing as well as its wild and remote beauty.

We manage the land at Reay Forest to uphold its designated habitats and support its sporting use. This supports a number of jobs in the area. 

It has six Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), areas which Scottish Natural Heritage considers to best represent the country’s natural heritage, notably Foinaven which supports a typical range of upland habitats and species and is one of the largest designated sites in the UK.

There are two internationally important Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) safeguarding rare habitats and a designated Special Protection Area (SPA) for endangered birds – the Foinaven SPA being designated for its golden eagles, of which there are known breeding pairs on the estate as well as white tailed eagles.

Red deer are native to Scotland and are one of its iconic and most impressive species. With no natural predators left in the wild, landowners work together to control deer numbers in a sustainable way to limit overgrazing and their impact on woodland and biodiversity, as well as potential damage to sites with special designations. Due to competition for food and shelter, if numbers aren’t controlled too many deer can also be detrimental to the herd’s welfare and the local habitat.

Our keepers also play an active role in developing the region’s deer management plan and support the welfare of wild deer through research and education.

Reay Forest is one of the few private estates to undertake extensive habitat impact monitoring which is carried out in conjunction with regular population counts to help inform the management of this important resource and its impact on the local habitat.

In 2019, the estate was reaccredited by Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) for its conservation, habitat and wildlife management. Wildlife Estates, which is supported by the Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage and is managed by Scottish Land & Estates, was established in 2005 and is active in 19 European countries facilitating collaboration between the public and private sectors, particularly around biodiversity and conservation, and share best practice.

The landscape at Reay Forest lends itself to the generation of green energy. Individual wind generators were attached to houses on the estate in the early 1900s and the first hydroelectric scheme was installed in the 1920s at Maldie. Following upgrades, it remains in use today and provides power to the buildings at Kylestrome.

In 2013 a second, larger scheme, was completed at Maldie. This generates enough energy to power over 3,000 homes, the balance exported to the national grid. 

A third hydro scheme, developed in collaboartion with a neighbouring estate, is fitted with a 690kW generator producing power which is exported to the national grid.

A biomass boiler in Achfary, fuelled by woodchip from the estate, provides a renewable source of heat and hot water to the whole of the hamlet.

• Sporting lodges and holiday cottages on the estate are available to let at www.cottages-and-castles.co.uk and by searching for Reay Forest, Lairg. Please note that not all the properties listed are let by the estate.