A PERTHSHIRE farm which produces some of Scotland's highest quality wild venison and hill lamb has a new income stream - its own farmscale hydro electric scheme,

A PERTHSHIRE farm which produces some of Scotland's highest quality wild venison and hill lamb has a new income stream - its own farmscale hydro electric scheme,

Inverlochlarig, near Lochearnhead and within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, is a 10,000 acre hill farm which has been tended to by the same family since 1877. It is home to more than 3500 Scottish Blackface and Cheviot Ewes and a herd of 100 cattle.

Its new 100kw scheme, which was three years in the planning and development process, is now fully operational and providing power to Inverlochlarig farm and into the national grid, benefitting from the feed-in tariff.

Malcolm McNaughton of Braes Farming Co said that the switching on of the new hydro scheme marked the culmination of many years of hard work.

"For more than 15 years we have had a burning desire to harness the raw energy around us," he said. "Over the last couple of years, the technological developments and increase in FITs have made it much more attractive for smaller-scale renewable energy schemes like this to be delivered."

Clydesdale Bank's Business Centre in Dundee provided 80% of the funding for the project, with a six-figure support package arranged by agribusiness manager Alex Young.

"It also isn't easy for funding for this type of scheme to be arranged, despite the obvious benefits to us as a business and the wider economy," said Mr McNaughton. "However, Alex and Clydesdale Bank took the time to understand what we were trying to achieve and work with us at every stage."

Mr Young added: "Malcolm and the team at Inverlochlarig have identified an opportunity to diversify and capture the raw energy around them. The development of smaller scale renewable energy projects in terms of technology, planning, finance and advice, means they are much more accessible for farming businesses across Scotland."