Alan Boulton, a well-known and respected farming and conservation adviser, passed away at the age of 60 following a three-year battle with cancer. He is survived by his daughters Jennie and Emma Boulton.
Very few people have the genuine knowledge of both farming and wildlife that Alan had. 
He combined this with a refusal to take an entrenched opinion, he was always open minded, curious, willing to listen and come up with different ways of looking at things. 
He was a great team mate to have and was a brilliant ideas man.  
Alan’s early working years started as a gamekeeper in Perthshire after growing up in Aberfeldy. 
From there he moved to Wester Ross to work as a National Trust Ranger and subsequently onto Killillan Estate to work as a deer stalker and shepherd. 
In 1984, he went on to continue this line of work in Achnasheen. A year later, with his wife Kay, they welcomed the birth of their first daughter, Jennifer. After the birth of their second daughter, Emma in 1988, Alan became the estate manager at Glen Gloy, in Lochaber, where he remained for the following five years. 
In 1994, he ran the hill sheep and cattle unit at Achnasaul Farm and continued as the tenant farmer until 2005. 
In 2002, he began his agricultural consultancy career, firstly through his work with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG); and then following the demise of the organisation in Scotland, Alan started his own consultancy business, Huntaway Consulting. 
He ran this successful and thriving business from his home in Fort William until 2016. 
He continued and enjoyed working despite his diagnosis and subsequent treatments for his illness and took great pride in his work and achievements. 
His strength lied in his ability to provide simple solutions and pragmatic advice; the work that he did was always insightful and bridged the gulf between agricultural and environmental needs.  
The farmer never left Alan, even when he no longer owned stock or fed sheep.  He was always keen to roll up his sleeves and get involved whenever he could. While up a glen to talk to a sheep farmer about managing a Site of Special Scientific Interest, he had to wait until the lambs were sorted. Rather than sit in the car or lie in the sun, Alan hopped over the gate and joined in, happy as Larry.
Alan’s interests included climbing and outdoor pursuits and his great love of dogs.  
Alan had a particular fondness for New Zealand Huntaways of which he had three over the years. His last Huntaway, Maru, was a great comfort and companion to him over the last few years and she now lives happily at her new home in the Highlands.
Alan also made important contributions through his work with the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association, and was one of the key founders of Lochaber Rural Complex, which developed and operated the Ben Nevis Auction Mart site, outside Fort William.  
He took on the very difficult job of chairman of the community company and in an extremely challenging financial time and with great determination, focus and good sense, he steered the business through five or more very difficult years.