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Last December Winton Estate took members of East Lothian Council and local community leaders from Pencaitland, New Winton and Ormiston on a site visit of the estate.

The primary role of that visit was to allow the Estate to demonstrate what it currently does to generate income and discuss ideas for ways it may be extended and diversified in the future.

Ideas included the potential to revive, reinstate and redevelop existing sites such as Winton Hill to more ambitious plans to potentially generate income from sand and gravel extraction on the Estate, which then leads to leisure opportunities in creating an artificial water reserve.

Community leaders generally were open to hearing more and left heartened by the Estate enthusiasm to engage with local opinion on its plans.

A tour for the whole community

Of course, the thoughts and views of the community are not simply those held by elected councillors from East Lothian Council nor those sitting on local Community Councils. So, in an effort to reach out to the widest possible audience potentially affected by any future developments, Winton Estate is holding a further tour on the 25th of January. Below is an open invitation from owner Francis Ogilvy made to any locals living in and around Pencaitland, Boggs Holdings and district.

Francis & Dorothy Ogilvy in the grounds of Winton House and Estate

Francis & Dorothy Ogilvy in the grounds of Winton House and Estate

Please come to the Pencaitland and Winton Bowling Club next Saturday, 25th January at 1.00pm for a soup and sandwiches lunch, followed by a brief tour of Winton Estate. We shall aim to return to the Clubhouse for further refreshments and a time of discussion.

The purpose of the tour is to hear what the local community would like the adjoining Winton Estate to do in the future. It is also to share some of the estate ideas we have and to see how a process of dialogue can be taken forward to develop ideas generally. The desire is to secure mutual benefit and plan for the long term of the village and the estate where practically possible. We have already held tours for members of the community and county councils as well as other officials at national and local levels. We are now seeking to consult directly with adjacent village communities. We have met in New Winton and two tours are taking place next Saturday with Ormiston in the morning and Pencaitland in the afternoon.

This is an early stage in a consultation exercise, intended to enable myself and a community planning colleague, Nick Wright the opportunity to listen to views from the community. I have my own ideas and I shall share some of these on the day, however they are not fixed or the whole process would be nullified from the outset. Even if you are unable to attend next week, it would be appreciated if you could pass this invitation on to anyone you may consider likely to be interested to come along. I should ask, however that my colleague, Audrey Stevenson be alerted for the sake of catering and transportation as numbers are limited. Her email address is audrey@wintonhouse.co.uk or a message can be left on the Winton phone 01875 340 222.

For transportation purposes there is a limit to how many spaces are available on the mini tour bus, so if you are interested in attending we recommend you get in touch early to secure a place.

Some facts about Winton Estate…

  • Winton Estate comprises 2,500 acres
  • Winton House is considered one of the most architecturally important buildings in the UK
  • The House is used to provide corporate and private hospitality
  • There are two self catering properties on the estate
  • It employs 34 people (half part-time) plus temporary seasonal staff
  • Farmland makes up two thirds of the estate
  • Managed woodland covers 850 acres including Saltoun Big Wood
  • 100 acres of farmland were converted back to broadleaf woodland
  • £1.25 million has been invested on the woods over the last ten years
  • There is 12 miles of pathway around the estate – The Winton Walks
  • There are 30 estate houses and cottages
  • A third of the estate houses are occupied by staff
  • Three fields next to the Tyne river on the estate contain high quality sand and gravel