Field Security – Jim McLure, Farm and Estate Maintenance

20 December 2021

This photo was obviously taken a long time ago, and you would think I was destined for a life of work on the land. But no….I never got into agriculture until I was 25. Being brought up locally on the coast and most of my maternal family being involved in the past with the sea, from Whaling to Herring and White fish to Shellfish.

My first jobs after I left the school was the Creels. It’s Saltwater in my blood not Stoor. One day I’ll get back to that, but in the meantime I’m stuck at Balcaskie….. WHICH I’m very lucky and grateful to do so.

Unlike most farm businesses I’ve been employed in, Balcaskie is very different. It’s very forward thinking… not stuck in a rutt..

Organic and very environmentally considerate. Striving to be sustainable with a strong community involvement. Creating opportunities for businesses to flourish and actual appreciation towards its employees. Their well-being and health and safety. The opposite of what I’ve been used to elsewhere.

My main jobs on the Estate at the moment and the future is Field Security…Stock Fencing.

As the Organic Conversion evolves, all the fields will be grazed or mob grazed by cattle, sheep or pigs. We have, in the last two years, changed to a revolutionary new style of fencing. Clip-X…It’s a New Zealand designed metal type of fencing. It is quick to build, long lasting and robust.

We are the largest consumer of this product in Scotland.

It has a 30 year guarantee. We have  wooden fencing that is quickly falling to bits after 15 years. Just to keep ahead of the game we need to erect 20,000 meters per year. This does not include the repairs and replacement of the old wooden fences. The total field perimeters of Balcaskie is roughly 170,000 meters of which 2 thirds are still wooden. Mostly North off Arncroach, Kellie Law and Carnbee on the higher ground so plenty to do.

Other jobs recently I’ve been doing – clearing up the carnage and damage caused by storm Arwen, loadings lorries with wheat for Cameron Brig Windygates, for Whisky distillation and helping set up Bowhouse for the Xmas Market a couple of weeks ago.

It’s not all work though, recently the company treated all the employees to Mussleburgh races for a ” Moral boosting team exercise “. Which luckily for me included food and drink!

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