A Kilmacolm farming business has scooped two prestigious honours thanks to the dedication of a local couple who are passionate about farming life.

Kilmacolm Farm Tours, run by Wendy and James MacDougall, was recently crowned 'most unique agriculture experience' at the SME News Scottish Enterprise Awards.

The Scottish Farmer: The farm have a trailer all set for farm toursThe farm have a trailer all set for farm tours

The accolade comes hot on the heels of the business being awarded a four-star rating by the Scottish Tourist Board.

Wendy and James, who are third generation farmers, started running trailer tours and lambing experiences from Muirhouse Farm in Kilmacolm back in April 2022.

Despite only being open for two full seasons, the business had already garnered a lot of industry attention and fantastic feedback from people across Inverclyde and beyond.

The Scottish Farmer: The business is in a prime location The business is in a prime location

Wendy, 44, said the honours arrived 'completely out of the blue'. She added: "We're absolutely thrilled.

"Someone must have nominated us for the enterprise award and we were 'mystery shopped' for the tourist board.

"We put an awful lot of work into what we do so it's so nice that people are recognising that.

The Scottish Farmer: Groups are welcome, as well as individual visitorsGroups are welcome, as well as individual visitors

"It makes it all worthwhile.

"It's great to see that we're getting so much positive feedback."

Wendy and James decided to start the business after joining the Scottish Agritourism Network and being inspired by how other farms were evolving.

When people sign up for a trailer tour, Wendy and James take them through an overview of the farm, covering its history and heritage.

The farm sits on land which was part of Sir William Lithgow's estate and offers incredible 50-mile radius views as far as Tinto Hill, Ben Lomond, Drymen, and the Campsies.

The Scottish Farmer: The SME trophyThe SME trophy

The tours cover the history of the nearby railway line which was used to take groups of people grouse shooting.

People get to find out about the spectacular waterfall which sits just down from the farm, and about crops and the use of land.

Wendy and James introduce visitors to their herds of North Country Cheviot sheep and Sim-Luing cattle, and people get the chance to find out more about cows and calves, ewes and lambs, as well as meeting the family's collie dog.

When they get back to base, people can have tea and coffee and sample lovely treats from Three Sisters Bake.

James said some of the tour involves discussion of the environmental benefits of farming. He said he and Wendy are very proud that the farm is carbon neutral.

The farming family is also very proud to share with guests its journey to becoming a carbon neutral farm, including all the pros and cons this has brought to everyday work. It is an ongoing and important task to try to balance food production with environmentally friendly protocols.

James added: "The carbon calculator measures all inputs and outputs and we've been given a figure of -9.

"We're quite forward thinking and we're trying to make the business as sustainable as we can for the next generation.

"In farming, you have to keep getting bigger and bigger just to stand still.

"Balancing food production with the environmental benefits is a big challenge."

The couple say they're keen to work with businesses across Inverclyde and beyond to bring in people from overseas. Wendy added: "We need to be keeping cruise passengers in Inverclyde.

"There are so many opportunities for creating packages with businesses to create amazing day trips for people.

"That's something we really want to get involved in."

Wendy and James, along with their children Ailie, 12, and Kyle, seven, are looking forward to the tours and lambing experiences starting up again in 2024.

The couple are also volunteer hosts for the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET). This means that many groups of school children are allowed to visit free of charge, enabling Muirhouse Farm to bring to life the 'farm to fork' topics they're learning about. The farmers are keen to interact with young people and anyone else who is interested in farming life.

Wendy added: "People really seem to appreciate us opening up the doors of the farm and are always totally engaged by the experience.

"I get a real buzz out of seeing the reactions we get from people.

"It's a very interactive and really unique experience.

"The things we take for granted are fascinating to people and it's fantastic to see."

Kilmacolm Farm Tours is delighted to be able to welcome guests who are keen to know where their food is produced and might be looking for an outdoor activity that chimes with their healthy lifestyle and positive mental health choices. It has easy access to several towns and cities and yet is still able to boast stunning countryside landscapes and rural scenery.

The family are already taking bookings for next year, with the lambing season a particular favourite with visitors.

You can read more about what they do, and buy gift vouchers, online at https://www.kilmacolmfarmtours.co.uk/