Scotland: High hopes for aquaponic gardens investment

Roaming towards us is Paul Lister, Alladale’s owner. Rather than the tweedy get-up traditionally favored by Highland landowners, he is sporting cords, trainers and a slightly disarming pair of mirrored sunglasses, as if he is off to Saturday brunch in Notting Hill, where he is based when not visiting the several projects he runs around the world.

With a fortune inherited from his father Noel, founder of the now defunct furniture retailer MFI, in his 20s Lister “came to realise how environmentally degraded the UK had become over the past 500 years” and “decided to change course and become full-time involved with nature conservation”.

For the moment, he is concentrating on more immediately attainable projects and that includes introducing kale, lettuce and peppers to Alladale, rather than Canis lupus. Along with the main house, there are three smaller lodges used for guests, sleeping 44 in total. Lister encourages guests to use food provided by the estate – sorry, reserve – whether it is from local suppliers or Alladale itself, rather than stopping off to stock up at a supermarket on the way. 

Given that it takes 50 minutes each way to travel back down that track and beyond to get to a decent lettuce – which would rather cut into a day of yomping around the hills – it makes sense for Alladale to grow its own, whether it is vegetables, fish or venison. “The goal is to supply all of our lodges with as much produce from the reserve as possible, keeping food miles to a minimum, which I am quite obsessed about,” says Lister.

Read the complete article at The Telegraph 

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